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Johnny Marr : Call the Comet

All science-based undertones are buried deep, as much of the lyricism on the record is relegated to drab placeholders.

Johnny Marr told Rolling Stone that his third solo record, Call the Comet, envisions an alternate future, where a cosmic intelligence has landed and altered humanity’s self-destructive path. The grandiosity and ambition, however, is hard to spot in this listless work of indie-pop whimsy.

All science-based undertones are buried deep, as much of the lyricism on the record is relegated to drab placeholders like “It's never soon enough, And forever's gonna come too fast” on ‘Hi Hello’. At his most lyrically adventurous on ‘New Dominions’, Marr appears almost too timid to be vivid with his outlandish ideas, instead taking refuge in indistinct and safe clichés. I hate to say it but Johnny – “I didn't realise that you wrote poetry, I didn't realise you wrote such bloody awful poetry”.

The record’s most attractive proposition is its impeccably glossy production, at its best when recalling the tremolo abyss of ‘How Soon is Now’, on the soft rock of ‘The Tracers’ or the steady funk-march of ‘Bug’. However, most tracks drag into humdrum, gratuitously pushing the five minute mark in near permanent reverb, losing any semblance of interest.

While iconoclastic former Smiths bandmate Morrissey’s political integrity has ebbed away, Marr has guarded himself by creating inconsequential pop-rock.

5.5