13 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since his emergence at the onset of the ‘80s, Marshall Crenshaw has always been a solid, understated pop songwriter and performer. His hooks have been strong but his lack of pretension or any semblance of rock ‘n’ roll attitude has allowed his music to be overlooked. Now an industry veteran, Crenshaw quietly goes about his business crafting songs that rely on little moments that recall touchstones of earlier rock ‘n’ roll eras without ever turning himself into a “retro” act. “Passing Through” evokes a lonely ‘60’s-styled ballad channeled through the ‘70s-‘80’ s “new wave” filter that Crenshaw found himself sifted through back in his heyday. The MC5’s Wayne Kramer adds an extra electric edge to the bluesy “Stormy River” and session drummer extraordinaire Jim Keltner provides his usual steady, unstoppable muscle to the rhythm section throughout. Crenshaw does sound a bit more melancholy — the advancing years have tried his inner teenager to the point where he can’t hide behind an ebullient melody like he used to — though “Long Hard Road” breaks past the clouds for some pop sunshine.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since his emergence at the onset of the ‘80s, Marshall Crenshaw has always been a solid, understated pop songwriter and performer. His hooks have been strong but his lack of pretension or any semblance of rock ‘n’ roll attitude has allowed his music to be overlooked. Now an industry veteran, Crenshaw quietly goes about his business crafting songs that rely on little moments that recall touchstones of earlier rock ‘n’ roll eras without ever turning himself into a “retro” act. “Passing Through” evokes a lonely ‘60’s-styled ballad channeled through the ‘70s-‘80’ s “new wave” filter that Crenshaw found himself sifted through back in his heyday. The MC5’s Wayne Kramer adds an extra electric edge to the bluesy “Stormy River” and session drummer extraordinaire Jim Keltner provides his usual steady, unstoppable muscle to the rhythm section throughout. Crenshaw does sound a bit more melancholy — the advancing years have tried his inner teenager to the point where he can’t hide behind an ebullient melody like he used to — though “Long Hard Road” breaks past the clouds for some pop sunshine.

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