Life's Too Short

It isn’t easy being a Next Big Thing. Just ask Marshall Crenshaw, who’s been dogged by also-ran status ever since his 1982 debut album. On subsequent records, Crenshaw’s brand of snappy-gait, ’60s-rooted pop has sounded strained. With Life’s Too Short, though, the pressure finally seems to be off — this is his most confident and relaxed album of original songs in years. He’s still singing about lovers who wander, the pangs of yearning, and the heartbreaking inevitability of fading emotions. But now the ballads have an effortless grace, the rockers kick harder than usual, and softer moments like ”Walkin’ Around,” on which he asks his better half to work out their troubles over a weekend stroll, seem to float on air. None of this will change the course of rock history, but Life’s Too Short has more important matters on its mind: coming to terms with life, letting things take their course — and finding solace from any and all dilemmas in choral-like vocal harmonies, walls of guitars, and hooks that never leave the brain. A-

Life's Too Short
  • Music