Marshall Crenshaw: Miracle of Science
Miracle of Science, Marshall Crenshaw notes in the reissue’s CD jacket, was mostly “recorded during 1994, 1995 and 1996 in various bedrooms and converted garages” in Woodstock, NY. You don’t have to go past the album’s opening track, “What Do You Dream Of?,” featuring Crenshaw on all instruments, accompanied only by a harmony vocal, to understand why this sadly underappreciated singersongwriter has always been able to say more in those unadorned bedroom and garage recordings than most bands that take a year in the world’s fanciest studios bleeding all of the life out of their music. “What Do You Dream Of?,” like so much of Crenshaw’s music, takes a universal sentiment—if only I could know what makes you tick—and sets it to a melody that dares you not to hum along. It’s the type of poprock tune that, even if you’ve never heard it before, by the end of its three-and-a-half minutes you’ll swear you’ve known it all your life. Miracle of Science is one of several Crenshaw albums of that ‘90s, early-‘00s era that made its bow and then quietly slipped away, remaining out of print. He’s brought it back to life here (others will follow) with a few bonus tracks tacked on, among them two perfect-fit covers: the country-informed “What the Hell I Got,” penned by Canadian Michel Pagliaro—whose airy atmosphere comes courtesy of a Mellotron—and “Misty Dreamer,” a semi-ballad by Scottish artist Daniel Wylie that could just as easily have found its way to a country-rock radio station in the thick of the SoCal singer-songwriter era.