Certain Songs #1090: Marshall Crenshaw – “Someday, Someway”

Album: Marshall Crenshaw
Year: 1982

For 35 years I’ve wondered why Marshall Crenshaw’s self-titled album — instantly acclaimed at the time, and now universally considered a classic — has never quite fully resonated with me the way it did with the rest of my power-pop peers.

And I think it’s because that most of the power-pop I loved took its cues from the British Invasion and U.S. garage rock — my wheelhouse — where as Crenshaw’s touchstones were more late 50s. So the rhythms were slightly bouncier, the guitars & vocals drenched in reverb and the whole thing slightly less tough that I liked in 1982.

All of which, of course, just melts away in the face of a pop song as well constructed as his one hit single, which takes the reverb-drenched guitar, and overloads it with a chiming jangly lead, handclaps galore, and backing vocals on the chorus.

Said chorus, was of course, incredibly irresistible, especially as Crenshaw kept switching it up:

Someday, someway awwwww
Someday, someway, yeah yeah
Someday, somewayyyyyyyyy
Maybe I’ll understand you

Someday, someway awwwwww
Someday, someway, yeah yeah
Someday, somewayyyyyyyyy
Maybe you’ll understand me

Just that little switch turned “Someday, Someway” from a “chicks, mannnnn” song to a far more nuanced take on a couple that was probably doomed.

Though none of that mattered to the popularity of the song — which lived and died on the catchiness of the melody, not the subtlety of the lyrics — and so when “Someday, Someway” grazed the top 40 during 1982, it was possible to see this as an opening salvo of a future star, not a one-shot hit single.

“Someday Someway”

“Someday Someway” performed live in 1982

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