On the cover of his self-titled LP, Marshall Crenshaw — complete with crew-cut, thick glasses and unfashionable suit — looks like nothing so much as the second coming of Buddy Holly, or possibly an Americanized Elvis Costello; listening to the record itself does little to alter those first impressions, and even if his subsequent LPs failed to live up to such immense promise, there's no doubting this debut release's enduring greatness. Working without any kind of smoke or mirrors, Crenshaw delivers simple, straightforward pop music invested with remarkable melodic ingenuity; his material is timeless and fresh — gems like "Someday, Someway," "She Can't Dance," and "Not for Me," are the kinds of songs which would fit like a glove on both oldies radio and contemporary Top 40 play lists in any era. Witty, assured, and utterly infectious, Marshall Crenshaw remains among the finest debuts of its day. -AMG
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