Last year sawåÊJohnny MarråÊenjoy a rapturous start to his solo career following the critical acclaim (included the honour of being named asåÊNME‰۪s Godlike Genius) greeted to hisåÊTopåÊ10åÊdebut solo album ‰Û÷TheåÊMessenger‰۪. Meanwhile his shows were celebrated for his ability to combine the best of his new material with select highlights fromåÊTheåÊSmithsåÊplus others from his extensive back catalogue.
Johnny Marr‰۪s åÊupwards trajectory continues unabated with the release of his second solo album ‰Û÷Playland‰۪åÊwhich is out onåÊOctoberåÊ6thåÊonåÊWarners. Work on ‰Û÷Playland‰۪åÊcommenced inåÊLondonåÊin theåÊSpringåÊas soon as the year of touring in support of ‰Û÷TheåÊMessenger‰۪åÊcame to a close. It findsåÊMarråÊcontinuing the creative connection that was forged onåÊ‰Û÷The Messenger‰۪åÊwith collaborator and co-produceråÊDoviakåÊas well as the other musicians who performed on the album and accompanying tour.
AsåÊJohnnyåÊstates:åÊ "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 ‰ÛÏsongs that move at the speed of life,‰ ‰Û÷Playland‰۪åÊcaptures much of the spirit that made‰Û÷The Messenger‰۪åÊso memorable with energetic, post-punk songwriting complemented byåÊJohnny Marr‰۪såÊcharacteristic guitar style, thought-provoking lyrical ideas and poised vocal phrasing.åÊ"It's important to sound like your environment and on this record that's London and Manchester,‰åÊhe adds.åÊ‰ÛÏThe feeling of the cities and the people make it into the music."
The title ‰Û÷Playland‰۪åÊis inspired by ‰Û÷HomoåÊludens‰۪, aåÊ1938åÊbook by the highly influentialåÊDutchåÊcultural theoriståÊJohanHuizingaåÊwhich explores the concept of play as a precursor and principal element of cultural development.