Marshall Crenshaw

Greatest Hits Acoustic

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A curious release from Marshall Crenshaw (not on Razor & Tie, his label since the mid-'90s, but label distributor BMG's low-price series), the budget-priced Greatest Hits Acoustic is simply a repackaging of 2001's I've Suffered for My Art, Now It's Your Turn, minus four songs ("Television Light," "Endless Sleep," "What Do You Dream Of," and a cover of the Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee"), with the remaining ten reshuffled so that the focus is on Crenshaw's first three albums (from which over half of the selections are taken, including the standout 1982 B-side "You're My Favorite Waste of Time"). While it's arguably true that Marshall Crenshaw, Field Day, and Downtown were Crenshaw's best, or at least most consistent, albums, the beauty of I've Suffered for My Art, Now It's Your Turn was in the way that Crenshaw's relaxed, casual delivery made all of the songs, even those from weaker albums, sound of a piece, giving greater weight to his lesser-known later albums. Greatest Hits Acoustic, with its trimmed-down lineup and minimal packaging, does a real disservice to Marshall Crenshaw's musical legacy, posing him more as a walking piece of early-'80s nostalgia. Even at the budget price, this is not a worthwhile purchase for fans, and even newbies would be better off paying a few dollars more for the full-length release.

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