Tag: elvis costello

MUSIC REVIEW | Elvis Costello – Spike (1989)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “The biggest pleasures with Spike were in its surprises.”

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In 1986, Elvis Costello released his album, King of America.  An album of which I said, “It’s great to hear an album by someone who I was so sure I was familiar with, to only then be surprised in different ways from song to song.”  It was that surprise that inspired me to dig deeper into this guy who I have always liked, but was becoming increasingly aware that I had also always taken for granted, expecting a very specific kind of music.  So, what surprises were in store with Costello’s record from three years later, Spike?

With an over produced drum sound and bouncing synth, the first few seconds of …This Town… had me wondering if I was listening to the wrong album.  But the second Costello’s voice joins the fray, this is undeniably an Elvis Costello song.  The little production flourishes continue with hints of similar period Peter Gabriel, but Costello’s voice is more than enough to overpower them all. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Elvis Costello – King of America (1986)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It’s great to hear an album by someone who I was so sure I was familiar with, to only then be surprised in different ways from song to song.”

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Diving head first into the back catalogue of musical legends is intimidating.  First of all, if they’re considered a legend, chances are they’ve been around a while and produced a healthy sized body of work.  Secondly, if you don’t like it, what does that say about your own tastes, or lack thereof?  Between his legendary status and 24 solo albums over almost 40 years, the work of Elvis Costello is dense and immense.  I already know I like him, and I still felt anxious when trying to decide which of his albums to listen to for a review.  In the end, for maximum new exposure, I chose one with the least number of song titles I recognised.  I chose King of America.

After the Costello-standard guitar based, melodious rock perfection of Brilliant Mistake, it’s his take on walking bass, 12 bar, 50s country, rock n roll with Loveable.  It’s not really a sound I’ve ever felt myself wishing Costello had tackled, and while it’s a perfectly fine little curiosity, it’s not the kind of thing I hope to find more of on King of America, or really anywhere else in the Elvis Costello oeuvre. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model (1978)

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Elvis Costello is a music iconic.  Elvis Costello is a dude whose iconic status makes perfect sense to me. Because Elvis Costello is a dude whose music I really love.  But I recently realised that loving his music is a claim I have made for a long, long time, without ever really putting in the work to earn the right to say I love it.  Whenever Elvis Costello music makes its way to me, I love it.  The problem is, I very really actively seek it out.  And in the past, have probably only listened to one or two of his albums from beginning to end in a single sitting.  So, today my hard yards to be able to legitimately say I love the music of Elvis Costello begins, with This Year’s Model.

Despite the number of tender, acoustic songs in his back catalogue, Costello has always had a certain punk rock street cred.  And the opening pair of No Action and This Year’s Girl back up both aspects of his legacy.  Neither is loud or heavy, and the melodies are poppy in their brilliance.  But at the same time, there’s a distinct punk rock attitude under the surface. (more…)