Johnny Marr’s music is as likable as the man himself. Playland’s got the simple hooks, Britpop choruses, the subtlest of synth sounds, and through it all, a solid rock n roll edge. You only need to give a listen to single “Easy Money” to get the picture.
Each subsequent album seems a little less impressive, though. By now we know you can write great songs, Johnny, but what else can you do? Too much of the same good thing makes people impatient, bored, or just plain sick of it.
The Smiths were interesting in part because of how Marr’s playful, ringing melodies crashed into Morissey’s sad little poems. Now that Marr’s on his own, there’s nothing for him to bounce off of. It’s given him the freedom to do his own thing, and his thing is great and all, but it’s also starting to get a bit unimaginative.