Marshall Crenshaw's 'Jaggedland' Wins Critical Kudos


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Crenshaw also music supervising forthcoming film and soon to appear on Mountain Stage and Sirius XM Loft Sessions

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Marshall Crenshaw's new album Jaggedland, released this past June on 429 Records, was his first in six years. And the critics agree it's been worth the wait: “Back after six years: older, wiser, still crafting timeless pop... Jaggedland is consistent with Crenshaw's finest '80s and '90s output," Mojo wrote in its four-star review.

In addition to touring the U.S. in support of the album since summer (with many dates featuring David Mansfield on steel and mandolin, Graham Maby on bass, Tony Leone on drums), Crenshaw has had a busy year. Just back from the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco, he will soon tape NPR's “Mountain Stage" on November 1 (airdate TBA) and Sirius XM The Loft channel's “Loft Sessions" concert. In his correspondence to Crenshaw's camp, Loft program director Marrone wrote, “(Jaggedland) is one of my year- end Top 10 albums and I need a Marshall Loft Session." Crenshaw will also appear as part of Levon Helm's house concert series, the Midnight Ramble, on November 14.

He is also preparing for a November 20 show at New York's City Winery and a Christmas show with Harry Shearer, Judith Owen, Paul Shaffer, Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, the Roches and Henry Butler at Joe's Pub on December 15 which will benefit New Orleans school music programs.

If that weren't enough, Crenshaw is in the process of music supervising the movie Losers Take All, which begins pre-production in November, shooting in Memphis in January.

And remarkably, the Jaggedland album is still gleaning reviews five months after release: In another four-star review Uncut magazine crowed, “Comeback Kid: glowing, grownup missive might be his best ever... Putting his best band ever--including MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer and drummer Jim Keltner -- to work on a set of songs ranging from wistful ("Passing Through") to nightmarish ("Right on Time"), he comes up with a dozen rich, elegantly regretful dreamscapes. Trademark romanticism, gorgeously textured guitar, and Crenshaw's exquisite melodic sense--they're all intact here."

Ifmagazine.com hailed Crenshaw as “one of the '80s' few remaining, enduring and timeless artists." Sonicboomers.com stated, “You have to love this strong a comeback, because they really don't come often enough . . . There is a freshness of spirit to all these songs, like the artist is just starting out instead of being 30 years into a career." And Allmusic.com observed, “Maybe the guy who sang 'Someday Someway' is gone for good, but the edgier artist who has taken his place has made a compelling and powerful album, and if Jaggedland isn't always a barrel of laughs, it's the most impressive work Crenshaw has delivered in over a decade."

In Crenshaw, compulsivereader.com said, “The fragile, shifting aspects of existence have found an eloquent chronicler... [he] has a youthful, sensuous, warm voice. It is, for me, a great part of his appeal and power." Musicremedy.com noted that on Jaggedland, “Classic Crenshaw attributes including an indelible sense of melody and tuneful essence combine to create a rich warmth and intimacy on every song... The recording has a powerful vibe of immediacy thanks to Crenshaw's warm vocals and riveting guitar work. He takes the production to its highest levels working with a roster of well-known musical heroes and veteran producers..."

“Whatever the opposite of the “Peter Pan Syndrome" is," declared Chronogram magazine, “Marshall Crenshaw has it. Witness his new release, Jaggedland: Rather than denying the aging process, the lengthening shadows of mortality, and the occasional descent into the dank basement of depression, the Rhinebeck resident grapples defiantly with all of the above. Surprisingly, this makes for an inspiring song cycle; the result of Crenshaw's wrestling with these dark angels is some of his most powerful material to date. His secret weapons? Some fine cohorts on both sides of the mixing desk, unpredictable yet-rich melodies, and deft lyricism that often reflects the steadfast love of a good woman. And, oh yes -- the excellent guitar playing. Can a Crenshaw version of Guitar Hero be far behind?" Or as Vintage Guitar urged, “Strike while the iron is hot, Marshall, and get started on another masterpiece..."

This story appears courtesy of conqueroo.
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