#392: The EP Collection brings together a smattering of new material along with covers, all of which appeared on Crenshaw’s subscription-only series.
For decades now, Marshall Crenshaw has been churning out quality material, the majority of which, following his new wave-influenced debut, tended to go largely unnoticed. But for those won over by Crenshaw’s song craft, the stylistic trappings within which he operated were secondary to his talents as a writer. #392: The EP Collection brings together tracks recorded specially for a Kickstarter-backed project that saw Crenshaw delivering one new song, one cover and one reworking of a back-catalog staple every few months. Noticeably absent are the reworked classics, left out in favor of the new material and covers which bookend the album.
Relatively low-key yet undeniably consistent, Crenshaw’s contemporary material, while not as dynamic as his early albums, shows him to have lost little of his compositional skills and way with a hook. Of the new songs, “Driving and Dreaming” is a clear winner, while his cover of the Everly Brothers “Man With Money” comes closest in feel to his previous incarnation as a new wave power-popper. If nothing else, #392: The EP Collection is a pleasant reminder that, after all these years, Crenshaw remains one of the better pop tunesmiths around.