MARSHALL CRENSHAW Marshall Crenshaw (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab) 

Hailed by some as the second coming of Buddy Holly on its 1982 release, Marshall Crenshaw’s eponymous debut opens strongly with “There She Goes Again”. He sounds almost like an American Squeeze, blending bittersweet lyrics with chiming guitars. The perky pop of single “Someday, Someway” doesn’t disappoint, and “The Usual Thing” broadens the palette to include jangly countrified rockabilly. The intro to “Cynical Girl” wrongfoots me every time I hear it, sounding like a dead ringer for The House Of Love’s “I Don’t Know Why I Love You”, and “Soldier Of Love” is an Arthur Alexander cover that The Beatles performed during a 1963 BBC session.

Unfortunately, though, after a few tracks Crenshaw’s combination of eager puppy pop classicism and nerdy outsider shtick becomes cloying, not helped by a bizarre production that, even on this typically luxuriant heavy vinyl MoFi reissue, seems to squeeze everything through an AM radio. Despite the effortless craft on display, it’s an album that, for me, never really amounts to something/anything.