Friday, March 26, 2004

#32) Elvis Costello & The Attractions - This Year's Model (released in 1978, I bought the Rykodisc reissue on cassette back in middle school from Streetside Records in Bloomington, IN)

Aside from this album, My Aim Is True (for the songs not sound), Blood & Chocolate (for the sound not songs) and Armed Forces (for both being tolerable), you could easily fit the Elvis Costello I dig into a single disc compilation. I'll swear on a stack of Trust copies that this is his only true classic - lyrics stabbing us all in the eyes while the band works us up into a frenzy, asking for more abuse. Girls get it worse than the guys, but that's only natural since all Elvis really wants from the dudes is recognition and to not be told what to do. He gets away with not wanting to go to Chelsea, not wanting to belong to anybody and only giving you lip service because he is one perceptive little BADASS. His band is usually louder than his guitar, and, unlike Clover on the debut, they deserve to be - that rhythm section pulls you in as forcefully as Costello tells you to push off. His desire for recognition would soon lose its lustful edge, as he tried winning us over in various classy, deadly boring ways. Though after an album like this, I can't really hate the guy. He's earned the right to do whatever he wants as long as I don't have to pay attention (and thanks to the friendly fascism of pop radio - only that damn Paul McCartney collabo ever forces itself on me).

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