Stranger and Stranger

by: Marshall Crenshaw

The second installment in Marshall Crenshaw's ongoing Kickstarter-fueled subscription series of EPs -- each containing a new original song, a cover, and a reinterpretation of an old song -- continues with 2013's Stranger and Stranger. The title track is the new tune and it's terrific, a shimmering, insinuating slice of uncertainty accentuated by the vibraphones of Bryan Carrott; alluring at first, it sinks its hooks in quickly and deeply. The cover is the Carpenters' "(They Long to Be) Close to You," here given a sweet straightforward treatment, which leaves a gentle acoustic version of "Mary Anne," recorded for the unreleased 2008 film God Is Dad, as the reinterpretation that closes out this charming EP. All three are winners but it's the flatly excellent "Stranger and Stranger" that makes this worth seeking out for Crenshaw's diehards. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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