Classic Album – Marshall Crenshaw – debut (CD review)

Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw (review) – CD review

Want a little sunshine in your Ipod?  Marshall Crenshaw’s debut CD is full of simple, yet infectious pop tunes.  Both his voice and chord progressions are reminiscent of Buddy Holly’s best work.  Jangly guitars and soaring harmonies are everywhere.  What makes this such a joy is the lack of any image or attitude.

Most bands attempting something like this would hide behind a cool sneer or haircut (like Elvis Costello or Graham Parker, perhaps), while Crenshaw is content to play it straight in all it’s geeky charm.  The album’s best known track, “Someday Someway,” borrows some from Holly’s “Peggy Sue,” while “Mary Anne” has the same simplicity of “Sweet Jane.”    The album’s lone cover song, Arthur Alexander’s “Soldier of Love,” sounds right at home with all the other vintage-sounding tunes.

The production is also very clean and sparse, without any keyboards or electronic instruments, letting the songs stand on their own.  Be sure to hunt out the “deluxe edition,” featuring several bonus tracks, including the excellent b-side “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time.”  His followup, Field Day, would be full of bombastic drums and layered instruments, but Marshall Crenshaw’s debut still sounds as fresh as the day it came out.  Guaranteed to get you humming along. –Tony Peters