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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 October 2015
As a long time Smiths fan who has only recently got into Johnny's solo stuff I approached Boomslang fearing I may be disappointed . I loved The Messenger & Playland but had read many negative reviews of his work with The Healers.

However once the cd arrived I was pleasantly surprised . It's a very different sounding record to his more recent solo work but in my opinion this is just as good . Every song on the album is well worth hearing and it's far more laid back than the more recent "punky" stuff and maybe not as instant but after a couple of plays it really gets into your head .

Marvellous stuff and it's sad Johnny doesn't seem keen to play any of this album on his wonderful solo gigs anymore .
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on 4 October 2014
I got this while on a bit of a Marr spree, having been impressed by his new solo album(s) and having loved his work with The Smiths, Modest Mouse etc. It has some good stuff on it, though nowhere near as impressive as "The Messenger".
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2004
Oh dear - what this? Johnny Marr's post-Smiths output has always been varied, but when he finally steps out of the shadows of other frontmen for this solo album the result is a spectacular misfire. In short, this is an album almost devoid of hooks, where the songs just drone on and on, with boring grooves replacing any hint of melody. Johnny's voice is OK, but his thin voice sends you straight to the lyric sheet to understand what he's singing about, and then straight back again when you realise the mumbling lyrics done really mean anything - like the music they're vague and meandering. The guitar playing is average, and massively inferior to the brilliant work Marr produced on Electronic's Twisted Tenderness album. A handful of tracks show potential - Caught Up, Down on the Corner, and Another Day - but far too much of this album sounds like a third-rate Oasis strum along cover band. Smiths/Marr obsessives will buy this anyway, but it's the sound of a man resting on his laurels - if you didn't know this was Johnny Marr you wouldn't give it a second listen. Disappointing.
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on 17 August 2003
This is great CD, and it's good to see Marr's still banging out the tunes. There's several influences in here and it should appeal to many. 'The Last Ride' and 'Caught Up' are very 'guitary' with the latter having a Beatles vibe to it. 'Down on the Corner' is a jangly sing-along tune and 'You are the Magic' could have been a Depeche Mode song. It's all very well put together and it's certainly one to play loud in the car.
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on 11 February 2003
Since the demise of The Smiths some fifteen years ago Johnny Marr's career has pottered from guest appearance to guest appearance - Billy Bragg, Bryan Ferry, Talking Heads etc - as well as stints in The Pretenders, The The and Electronic. But there always seemed to be a widening gap between the graph points of Marr's post Smiths business and that of his ex songwriting partner Morrissey. Johnny Marr, many critics were saying, couldn't cut the mustard anymore. With the debut album from Johnny Marr and the Healers it's time for those critics to eat their words.
Boomslang opens with 'The Last Ride', a song which has been around a few years now but sounds fresh and full-blooded. 'Down On The Corner' blends acoustic guitar and piano with Marr's emotive voice and some riproaring elctric guitar riffs as backdrop while 'Need It' chugs along with a rockabilly rhythm and a Smithesque urgency - a 'Rusholme Ruffians' for the 21st century. 'You Are The Magic' has a trippy, Happy Mondays feel to it - we can only concur what The Smiths might have achieved if they had survived the eighties and ridden on the Madchester train. Throughout the album Marr's voice is delicate but strong enough to hold its own against the criticism that some reviewers have directed at him. The Healers, Alonza Bevan on bass and Zak Starkey on drums, are a tight knit, reliable rhythm section and the guitar playing is as good as ever.
If you only buy one album this year, make it this.
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on 1 February 2003
It's justifiably predictable when a label promotes an ageing rock star's new album by focusing on his past achievements, but a bit of skepticism is inevitable. However, this is one of the most influential guitarists of the 80's, Johnny Marr of The Smiths. His playing basically inspired the Brit-pop explosion of the late 90's.
Boomslang is the debut album from his new band, The Healers, which also features Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, on drums. Starting with "The Last Ride", the first three songs on this album are driven by the sound of early Oasis, The Verve, and Primal Scream albums. A perfect circle. Smiths' fans might be shocked by just how powerful, heavy, and rock'n'raw some of these songs are, though.
Well, not exactly raw. Johnny produced the album himself and it could have stood to keep some of the frayed edges it seems to have lost in the studio. It has been digitally smoothed to the point where it is hard to hang your hat on some of these tunes. Marr is quite adept in the studio, and neither is he afraid to wash his songs with atmospheric synths, percussion, and, of course, his dub and reggae inflected lead guitar. Not that this approach isn't appropriate or effective. It's exhilirating during the six-minute raunch of "You Are The Magic", and the tantalisingly brief and quiet instrumental, "Headland".
The lyrics are a bit dissapointing - mostly vague rock clichés partially redeemed by the quality of songs they accompany (sorry, no heartbreaking histrionics from Morrissey here). This is true of the Spaghetthi Western intro to "Need It" which mutates into a runaway train, relentlessly chugging through the night, a strong indication of the diversity of sound this pretty heavy album achieves. Could be a future here for the old timer.
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on 15 January 2016
Great album, really like it!
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on 30 December 2004
Well I am the largest Smiths fan in the world and so this seemed like a reasonably logical purchase. As for a review of the content I would say that the songs are generally not terribly wonderfully good or examples of Smithesque genius, except in a few instances (I'll come to that later). However it is pleasant enough to listen to and thus not terribly bad either, just a bit nothingy overall. Marr has a natural singing voice as other reviewers have commented upon and his lyrics while not inspiring or quotable aren't shamefully bad, the music itself is somewhat what is to blame it all sounds a bit samey escept for in some cases.
Another Day is one of those cases - I almost wept because it was so beautiful and melodic and gorgeous and Something to Shout About was very good too. What a shame not everything else was so precious - I'll keep the album for these tracks and would say that I found it worth buying.
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on 21 April 2004
I saw 'the marr' at Coalchella festival last year and the gig was amazing.He stepped out like a returning king to claim his throne. However, outsidethe live environment this album is distinct only in its averageness. Thereare no tunes that bite as securely as his work with Electronic and theSmiths. In interviews I understand Marr has an eclectic musical taste, buton listening to this one would imagine that he has heard nothing but thoseone trick guitar bands misguided in their belief that wearing oily leatheris adequate in place of tunes and are as bland as the anodyne boybandsthat have blighted saturday morning TV since the sad demise of the 'That'.Would be great to hear Marr reach his potential that was glimpsed severaltimes over the three Electronic albums and with The The. These ears arestill listening, just not to this album I'm afraid.
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