#392: The EP Collection
Red River Entertainment
A worthy heir to Buddy Holly (who he portrayed in the biopic La Bamba) and John Lennon (who he played in a production of Beatlemania), Michigan-bred, New York-based Marshall Crenshaw has made superior guitar pop for more than three decades. Folks with long memories will recall such early faves as “Someday, Someway” and “Favorite Waste of Time,” also recorded by Bette Midler. Compiling highlights from six recent EPs, #392 showcases Crenshaw’s gift for blending razor-sharp melodies and wistful vocals that have just enough grit to avoid any suggestion of cheap sentiment. This 14-track set also offers some savvy covers, including a lovely, un-ironic take on the Carpenters’ “Close to You” and a crackling, previously unreleased version of the Everly Brothers’ “Man with Money.” If you’re new to Crenshaw’s work, consider yourself lucky: A great back catalog awaits.