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Last year saw Johnny Marr enjoy a rapturous start to his solo career following the critical acclaim (included the honour of being named as NME’s Godlike Genius) greeted to his Top 10 debut solo album ‘The Messenger’. Meanwhile his shows were celebrated for his ability to combine the best of his new material with select highlights from The Smiths plus others from his extensive back catalogue.
Johnny Marr’s upwards trajectory continues unabated with the release of his second solo album ‘Playland’. Work on ‘Playland’ commenced in London in the Spring as soon as the year of touring in support of ‘The Messenger’ came to a close. It finds Marr continuing the creative connection that was forged on ‘The Messenger’ with collaborator and co-producer Doviak as well as the other musicians who performed on the album and accompanying tour.
As Johnny states: "When The Messenger came out I kept on writing. I liked that the band had a momentum going on tour and a connection with the audience, and I thought that energy would be good to capture on the new record."
Written around a common theme of “songs that move at the speed of life,” ‘Playland’ captures much of the spirit that made ‘The Messenger’ so memorable with energetic, post-punk songwriting complemented by Johnny Marr’s characteristic guitar style, thought-provoking lyrical ideas and poised vocal phrasing. "It's important to sound like your environment and on this record that's London and Manchester,” he adds. “The feeling of the cities and the people make it into the music."
The title ‘Playland’ is inspired by ‘Homo ludens’, a 1938 book by the highly influential Dutch cultural theorist Johan Huizinga which explores the concept of play as a precursor and principal element of cultural development.
Andy says: Even better than his debut, Johnny rips up the rule book with an impossibly vibrant, melodic follow-up album that once more draws on his post-punk/new-wave pop roots. Bottle up and EXPLODE!!
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