best post-'80s Elvis Costello album

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did the '80s a while back -- best Elvis Costello album of the '80s -- and I thought about continuing with separate '90s and '00s polls but really I think this'll do.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Elvis Costello and The Imposters - When I Was Cruel (2002) 5
Elvis Costello with The Brodsky Quartet - The Juliet Letters (1993) 5
Elvis Costello - Brutal Youth (1994) 4
Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach - Painted From Memory (1998) 3
Elvis Costello with Bill Frisell - Deep Dead Blue (1995) 2
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - All This Uselss Beauty (1996) 2
Elvis Costello - Mighty Like A Rose (1991) 1
Elvis Costello with Richard Harvey - Jake's Progress (1995) 0
Elvis Costello and The Imposters - Momofuku (2008) 0
Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint - The River In Reverse (2006) 0
Elvis Costello - Il Sogno (2004) 0
Elvis Costello and The Imposters - The Delivery Man (2004) 0
Elvis Costello - North (2003) 0
Elvis Costello - Cruel Smile (2002) 0
Elvis Costello with Richard Harvey - Original Music from the Channel Four Series G.B.H. (1991) 0
Anne-Sofie von Otter meets Elvis Costello - For The Stars (2001) 0
Elvis Costello - Kojak Variety (1995) 0
Elvis Costello with John Harle - Terror & Magnificence (1997) 0
Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane & Sugarcane (2009) 0


some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:37 (eleven years ago) link

Of the ones I've heard:

Elvis Costello - Mighty Like A Rose (1991)
Elvis Costello - Brutal Youth (1994)
Elvis Costello - Kojak Variety (1995)
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - All This Uselss Beauty (1996)
Elvis Costello and The Imposters - When I Was Cruel (2002)
Elvis Costello and The Imposters - The Delivery Man (2004)

I went for this:

Elvis Costello and the Attractions - All This Uselss Beauty (1996)

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Monday, 15 March 2010 16:42 (eleven years ago) link

ha, never even heard of some of these, let alone heard them. Is the Frisell thing any good? Going off of the ones I've heard ... ummm maybe When I Was Cruel?

tylerw, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:43 (eleven years ago) link

All This Useless Beauty has some great, great songs on it, but also some pretty cruddy stuff.

tylerw, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:44 (eleven years ago) link

of the ones I've heard:

Painted From Memory > All This Useless Beauty > The Delivery Man > Brutal Youth > When I Was Cruel > Sugarcane > Momofuku > Cruel Smile

i've been thinking about checking out Mighty and/or Kojak since they've become available on eMusic, is either really worth a listen?

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:45 (eleven years ago) link

pretty much all of these have a combination of great and cruddy imo. listened to When I Was Cruel for the first time in years recently and man oh man does the crud outweigh "45."

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:45 (eleven years ago) link

ATUB had a truly bizarre sequence of 'one every 2 weeks" CD singles.

Mark G, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:46 (eleven years ago) link

huh, i remember thinking cruel was a "return to form" but i haven't listened in ages...

i did see him on that tour and man they were playing awesome at that time.

Deuce Bigalow: Male Juggalo (M@tt He1ges0n), Monday, 15 March 2010 16:46 (eleven years ago) link

I stopped buying new ones after 2002. My rankings:

When I Was Cruel
All This Useless Beauty
Painted From Memory

I loved Mighty Like the Rose in '91, the first Costello I bought at the time of its release; "Couldn't Call It Unexpected #4" and "After the Fall" would make love song tapes for years.

Brutal Youth has awful, awful production.

The Magnificent Colin Firth (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 March 2010 16:49 (eleven years ago) link

well, i think it was more of a "i haven't done an album with a rock band in 6 years, did you miss me?" thing than an actual return to form. but yeah that tour was good, although the best EC show i've seen was a few years ago when he didn't have a new album to promote and just did an amazing hit-filled club set with the Imposters.

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:50 (eleven years ago) link

Brutal Youth's goofy Froom-isms sure do fit badly on some songs, but there are a couple tracks where it works perfectly imo

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 16:51 (eleven years ago) link

MLAR's impenetrability was part of its charm. Funny how tastes changes.

The Magnificent Colin Firth (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 March 2010 16:52 (eleven years ago) link

The Costello & Nieve set is by far the best thing from this period, and the only one I listen to with any regularity or lack of trepidation. On this list, my favorite would be the short Bill Frisell set. I love that version of "Baby Plays Around," as well as "Weird Nightmare" from the Mingus tribute.

EZ Snappin, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:03 (eleven years ago) link

dang, i need that Costello/Nieve thing. I remember some TV show of them (Storytellers?) that was phenomenal.

tylerw, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:05 (eleven years ago) link

I could be wrong, but is Costello's cover of "Brilliant Disguise" from the same period?

The Magnificent Colin Firth (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 March 2010 17:07 (eleven years ago) link

yeah i love the Storytellers and other TV appearances from that period, have always wanted to hear the Costello & Nieve thing. but i decided not to include any live albums, especially ones with a good amount of pre-'90s material on them.

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:09 (eleven years ago) link

is that set available to buy or do I have to seek it out by nefarious means?

tylerw, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:14 (eleven years ago) link

guess it's out of print, but available through amazon sellers: http://www.amazon.com/Costello-Nieve-Ltd-Live-5-disc/dp/B000002NCJ

tylerw, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:15 (eleven years ago) link

Ebay has it anything between £13 to £25 on completed auction.

(there's one running at £6 now)

Mark G, Monday, 15 March 2010 17:31 (eleven years ago) link

only one of these I've heard all of was when I was cruel and to me it was a severe case of "don't believe the hype." doll revolution was good but man was there a lot of phoned-in stuff. kojak variety is a classic e.c. title, anyway

the most sacred couple in Christendom (J0hn D.), Monday, 15 March 2010 17:49 (eleven years ago) link

I don't know if phoned-in would be my criticism of that (or most EC albums, really) -- he tends to be really committed to even his worst ideas.

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 18:06 (eleven years ago) link

Brutal Youth, Useless and Rose all have a few under-appreciated killer tunes, like "Unexpected No. 4," "You Tripped At Every Step," and I've always had a soft spot for "Shallow Grave." (Well, it's short, anyway.) Plus, a few good b-sides from the era, like "My Dark Life," "Life Shrinks," and the Wendy James demos.

I've found his vocals close-to unlistenable from When I Was Cruel onwards, although Momofuku is tolerable. Also, his guitar playing is seriously ugly.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 15 March 2010 18:09 (eleven years ago) link

yeah his vocals have gotten worse as he's gotten more ambitious about them -- i think The Delivery Man is pretty good, though, need to listen to it this week to confirm my impression of it as being the best of the last decade

some dude, Monday, 15 March 2010 18:16 (eleven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:01 (eleven years ago) link

"Brutal Youth" is a fantastic album that is one of this best and really in a league of its own here. "London's Brilliant Parade" is absolutely awesome, and his best moment after "Shipbuilding".

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:07 (eleven years ago) link

Brutal Youth has awful, awful production.

"Brutal Youth" has gorgeous production. The best production on any Elvis Costello album.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:08 (eleven years ago) link

My gf contends that WIWC is his best album. I think she's nuts, but since I haven't heard most of these, I'll vote for that on her behalf.

everybody on ilx u have dandruff (Pillbox), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:28 (eleven years ago) link

I hate to agree with Geir about anything, but I love the production on Brutal Youth, as well as the songs. His strongest post-Blood & Chocolate set, I think.

Considering throwing a sympathy vote to When I Was Cruel, which I thought at the time was absolutely marvy, and as I recall has only one serious dud on it ("My Little Blue Window": sounds like he needed an "Elvis Costello song" to pad out an album of departures and weirdness). Also think Mighty Like a Rose is underappreciated, though there are some heinous stinkers on it ("Hurry Down Doomsday", "Broken"). The Costello & Nieve set might take this if it hadn't been a promo-only release; it really made me appreciate the awesomeness of All This Uselees Beauty, which is a nostalgic favourite. For me, the shark-jumping moment was North, and nothing after it has stuck with me for a minute.

Might have to relisten to some of this.

Fuck it, I'm going Brutal Youth. "WHAT IS YOUR DESTINY?"

Armchair Crab (staggerlee), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:44 (eleven years ago) link

"Mighty Like a Rose" IMO showed the potential of Costello/Froom that wasn't really fulfilled until "Brutal Youth". Loved the singles though, particularly "So Like Candy".

As for his recent Deutche Grammofon albums, I guess I'll file them together with Il Divo and Josh Groban......

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:51 (eleven years ago) link

I'm certain Costello & Nieve saw commercial release after originally being promos only.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:53 (eleven years ago) link

Juliet Letters is fucking great, but no one else ever seems to think so

First and Last and Safeways ™ (jjjusten), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 00:59 (eleven years ago) link

When I Was Cruel for me. Wonder if anyone at all is going to vote for El Songo...?

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:05 (eleven years ago) link

I think there's a general apprehension about his non-rock collaborative albums, but if I was going to pick up any of them it'd probably be Juliet Letters.

as I said upthread, Costello & Nieve was tossed out of the running for being live and full of pre-'90s compositions, not because of promo or limited edition status.

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:07 (eleven years ago) link

i think part of it is im going to listen to his rocking stuff i might as well listen to any of the earlier albums, why settle for anything from this period? altho the creeping Krallisms in the later period stuff is just ugghghghhhhh

First and Last and Safeways ™ (jjjusten), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:10 (eleven years ago) link

burt bacharach collab is by far the worst thing on this list tho

First and Last and Safeways ™ (jjjusten), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:11 (eleven years ago) link

you LIE

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:12 (eleven years ago) link

like honestly even if you don't dig on that album it excels at its particular niche and there are at least a half dozen failed experiments and bloated indulgences that it's not nearly as bad as

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:13 (eleven years ago) link

as I said upthread, Costello & Nieve was tossed out of the running for being live and full of pre-'90s compositions, not because of promo or limited edition status.

But you left in the Bill Frisell Deep Dead Blue collaboration - a live recording of primarily old songs and covers.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:13 (eleven years ago) link

well that's me fucking up and not knowing much about that record tbh

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:14 (eleven years ago) link

Fair enough!

I'm not always a fan of his production (including 70s and 80s, tbh), so the live recordings are my first pick when I'm in a Costello mood.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:17 (eleven years ago) link

haha just spotted this on another thread on new answers, perfect regurgitation of the horseshit comeback narrative of WIWC:

oseph cotten (joseph cotten) wrote this on thread Are there any artist(s) who, many years after the quality of their work had dwindled or halted altogether, actually came back and released another significant album? on board I Love Music on Nov 4, 2005

Elvis Costello, with "When I Was Cruel," after about 18-20 years of experiments in genteel tedium.

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:19 (eleven years ago) link

AFAIC, the best Costello of any vintage is this year's Live at Hollywood High. The Attractions are smokin'.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 23 March 2010 01:21 (eleven years ago) link

listening to Momofuku, not as bad as I remember it, the band sounds great and relaxed, but it's still probably the slightest set of songs he ever recorded with Nieve & Thomas

finally checked out Mighty Like A Rose and it's pretty nice, definitely one of the better albums on the list, I think the title/cover art just made it seem so boring that I avoided it for a long time.

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Tuesday, 23 March 2010 15:50 (eleven years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Wednesday, 24 March 2010 00:01 (eleven years ago) link

ok so now i dont feel so alone! also, "15 petals" from WIWC is a really great song.

First and Last and Safeways ™ (jjjusten), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 00:09 (eleven years ago) link

Didn't see this poll. Brutal Youth, All This Useless Beauty and Momofuku are the best ones.

PaulTMA, Wednesday, 24 March 2010 00:13 (eleven years ago) link

Man, The Juliet Letters just about turned me off EC for good! Sounded (to my young ears) like a Kronos Quartet record played backwards while somebody shouted a Harold Pinter play at it.

Listening to WIWC right now for the first time in some years. Gah! There's something of Imperial Bedroom's kitchen-sink experimentalism about it, I think. Maybe not coincidental that it's also evidently a post-breakup album. I usually maintain that Bruce Thomas is among the best of rock bassists, but the cat he's got impostering for Thomas is mucho wicked on this. Seemed to herald a new era of something-being-at-stake in his work

Then he hooked up with Krall and all that promise was rendered useless.

Armchair Crab (staggerlee), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 01:55 (eleven years ago) link

OK, done: what a great record! Among his best, I think. I'd vote "Alibi" off the island - I really hate it (and had forgotten how much). The chorus is pretty nifty, but the verses with the repeated "Alibi, alibi" refrain are awful, and the whole thing builds to a really lame punchline undeserving of the venom w/which it's spit: "PAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW" ick. "My Little Blue Window" is actually a great little song, but it doesn't belong here - it could have been his most best-loved B-side instead. "Dissolve"'s a little dull. Otherwise: I hope he breaks up with Krall soon so we can have just one more venomous monolith like this from him.

Armchair Crab (staggerlee), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 02:28 (eleven years ago) link

haha i was just about to bring up "Alibi" as one of the (several) rancid dogs that makes WIWC undeserving of the votes it got. but then, i'm generally ill at ease with his sprawling 15 songs kitchen sink records, i prefer when he's got a more cohesive sound or concept to hang everything on.

i feel like your characterization of his Krall years is based entirely on North, though, Delivery Man rocks pretty hard at times.

iggy figgy pudding pop (some dude), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 02:35 (eleven years ago) link

Some sensible lurkers.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 02:40 (eleven years ago) link

agree about Alibi -- for some reason, EC seems to think it's a real crowd pleaser (he's played it every time I've seen him since WIWC was released), but it's pretty unbearable.

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 March 2010 02:42 (eleven years ago) link

How do I not own a copy of Brutal Youth anymore? Must have pressed it into somebody's hands while drunk.

So, The Delivery Man instead. Liked it when it came out but it soon lost its lustre. Only thing I can remember offhand is that "Monkey" song (enh) and "The Scarlet Tide" which is probably one of my favourite single EC moments.

Hm, some alright stuff on here: "Either Side of the Same Town" sounds pretty classic, even if the vocal performance won't let it punch its weight. I recall thinking at the time that this band was getting as close to GP's 'cosmic American music' as anyone ever does: a rock-country-soul hybrid that sounds both organic and compelling, and I still think that in spots, but the songs don't have the traction they need to pin this album as anything but half-decent. Rocking hard isn't incompatible with a lack of conviction. Got to admit this album has its moments, though ("all the words of tenderness...")

http://www.robertchristgau.com/icon/s2.gif

Armchair Crab (staggerlee), Wednesday, 24 March 2010 03:16 (eleven years ago) link

seven months pass...

Huge profile of EC in this week's New Yorker. It's not available online but you can read the beginning here.

kornrulez6969, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 18:21 (eleven years ago) link

nine years pass...

there’s some amazing shit on brutal youth, “london’s brilliant parade” oh man <3 beautiful song.

I think my favorite aspects of the “froom sound” occur when things get mellow. I like what he gets out of organs.. I love los lobos’ colossal head (another smoky tube-y froom produced album from around this time)

brimstead, Friday, 8 May 2020 22:45 (one year ago) link

It's rare I say a production lets down an album. BY has the songs, but, gad, Froom's mix is a clattery, ugly thing.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 8 May 2020 22:49 (one year ago) link

om

mookieproof, Saturday, 9 May 2020 04:50 (one year ago) link

Love the sound of BY

PaulTMA, Saturday, 9 May 2020 19:43 (one year ago) link

"Toledo" from Painted From Memory is one of THE best songs

J. Sam, Saturday, 9 May 2020 20:14 (one year ago) link

I finally got into that album when we did Wishin' and Votin' - the BURT BACHARACH SONGBOOK Poll Results

My Chess Hustler (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 9 May 2020 20:17 (one year ago) link

AGreed!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 9 May 2020 20:18 (one year ago) link

Everything from Spike to All This Useless is pretty great, the covers record excepted. After that it’s all like one long album. Some of the songs on WIWC are ok but the singing and guitar-playing are atrocious

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 10 May 2020 00:09 (one year ago) link

Everything? Great?

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 10 May 2020 00:11 (one year ago) link

I like the spike-mighty-brodsky-brutal-useless run, yes

spike was the first ec record I heard, and brodsky was the first i bought, so they’re ,ore sentimental choices for me

Gotta be at least 10-15 of his best songs spread across those albums, and they’re the last gasp before he starts oversinging on absolutely everything

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 10 May 2020 00:42 (one year ago) link

I don't think I've heard a single one of his 21st Century records. Even when I saw him live he played very little post-Imperial Bedroom, I recognized nearly every song

frogbs, Sunday, 10 May 2020 01:10 (one year ago) link

I gave his post-'80s work a few more chances over the years, and while it's still not a patch on the magnificent albums that came between 1977 to 1986, he's recorded at least a few dozen gems. It's telling that one frequent complaint (or observation) I see from critics is how a song they glanced over from this period will be a pleasant surprise in concert or how a good song debuted in concert will come off as a disappointment when it's eventually released on an album. He can and continues to write good songs (mainly for himself - he may be the greatest songwriter since Dylan, but more often than not, other people have a difficult time interpreting his songs). And during the '90s and '00s, he was consistently an excellent performer in concert. But when it comes to making records, he's become spotty and inconsistent.

Of his studio albums, "When I Was Cruel" is easily his best - a little long but the one excellent album he's made since the '80s. "Painted from Memory" took a long time to grow on me, but I now think it's a fine pop album. "Brutal Youth" and "All This Useless Beauty" took some time to grow on me too - still a bit spotty, but they're generally good albums.

birdistheword, Sunday, 10 May 2020 03:18 (one year ago) link

(a few dozen gems as in tracks, not albums)

birdistheword, Sunday, 10 May 2020 03:19 (one year ago) link

he may be the greatest songwriter since Dylan

I can't think of a way I could agree with this proposition but I am wondering when you take "Dylan" to be to make this work for yourself?

Tim, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 08:01 (one year ago) link

I'm not sure I completely understand what you mean by "when" as there's no exact point in time, partly because Dylan is still active.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 18:52 (one year ago) link

"Best songwriter since X" requires X to be a point in time or a period, I think, especially if X is a living person?

I suppose really I'm trying to judge quite how highly you're rating EC. Greater than Lennon and McCartney?

Tim, Tuesday, 12 May 2020 20:26 (one year ago) link

I don't think the expression should be taken entirely that way. Obviously there's a time when X becomes established or starts producing relevant or notable work, but that work presumably continues, and even if X becomes less active or consistent, the well doesn't necessarily runs dry of notable work. So everything commendable by X to date is fair game, and any comparison applies to anyone who makes a name for themselves after X does

Lennon/McCartney doesn't really fit in the conversation well because it's the songwriting of two distinct writers. Though there is a measure of collaboration and both influenced the other (and evaluated each others work), it was never really a partnership the way traditional partnerships worked.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 04:40 (one year ago) link

Haha yeah alright mate I was just trying to understand the depth of your challop, because I love a good challop.

Tim, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 05:31 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

The new album, The Boy Named If is surprisingly fun, consistently good and easy to like. I wasn't sure if he'd ever sound this focused and energized ever again - it crushes the overrated Look Now, and they even pull off the experiments "The Man You Love to Hate" and "Trick Out the Truth." (Probably not highlights to me, but they don't hurt the album.) He's done a shitload of albums since the '80s - two dozen? 30? I lost count - and of those there are six that I more or less like overall, one of which is technically a collection of live EP's. This is probably better than all of them. He's not breaking a whole lot of new ground, but he's playing up to his strengths and following through on the execution. So yes, probably his best since the '80s.

birdistheword, Thursday, 13 January 2022 23:50 (one week ago) link

Agreed.

I'll have more to say next week.

And it sounds great.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 13 January 2022 23:51 (one week ago) link

Can't wait to read it! Meanwhile, I'm going to savor this with the relief that he didn't try something like a violin concerto.

birdistheword, Friday, 14 January 2022 00:34 (six days ago) link

At the very least this is his most *exciting* album since "When I was Cruel" (regardless of how anyone feels about that one).

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 January 2022 01:20 (six days ago) link

I'm a few songs in and yeah...it actually sounds like a follow-up to This Year's Model. his voice hasn't really changed as much as I feared it would.

frogbs, Friday, 14 January 2022 22:28 (six days ago) link

I listened to most of it on my drive into my part time job this evening and was pleasantly surprised. It was a very loud record, which I don't think I expected from him at this point in his career.

Unfortunately he was responsible for one of the worst shows I saw. It was at Madison square garden with a disinterested Replacements at the end of their rope in support. Elvis just seemed really old and tired.

So I am looking forward to repeated lessons.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Saturday, 15 January 2022 04:27 (five days ago) link

Did Elvis have a big bush beard at that show?

I'm not sure about this, but I think my first exposure to Elvis Costello was through an SNL re-run...but not the famous one where he stops "Less Than Zero" and plays the not-yet-released "Radio Radio." I mean the one from the '90s where he was appearing in support of Mighty Like a Rose, and unknown to me he looked nothing like the Elvis Costello people knew:

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/images/5/54/1991-05-18_SNL_s01.jpg

He wasn't playing anything that would be remembered as a classic, which is probably why a few years later, I was kind of bewildered to see his name consistently mentioned in music guides as an artist I should check out. I vaguely remembered thinking - "I know I've seen him...really?" When I finally broke down and got My Aim Is True, I was immediately surprised by how much I liked it. I made sense of my initial confusion when I eventually worked my way through the entire Warner catalog.

birdistheword, Saturday, 15 January 2022 07:15 (five days ago) link

*bushy

Also that photo doesn't seem to be coming up so here's a direct link: http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/images/5/54/1991-05-18_SNL_s01.jpg

birdistheword, Saturday, 15 January 2022 07:16 (five days ago) link

he looked nothing like the Elvis Costello people knew

He has said this was the point of the beard and hair

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 15 January 2022 10:29 (five days ago) link

It actually brings to mind Luke Wilson in The Royal Tenebaums, but with the ornate cap in place of the head band. FWIW, Luke Wilson said he was trying for a "lost Brian Wilson" look, but he didn't tell anyone back home in Dallas what he was doing it for, so he'd usually get these remarks like "so....I heard there's lots of drugs in Hollywood?"

birdistheword, Saturday, 15 January 2022 17:51 (five days ago) link

I got only about a song and a half into Hey Clockface last year, after hearing some adoring praise (or maybe just fawning podcast interviews with him), before quitting.

deep luminous trombone (Eazy), Sunday, 16 January 2022 08:34 (four days ago) link

I had a bootleg album "50,000,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong", great content but rough sound quality. Possibly my first record fair purchase (I really should have bought that pistols a&m single but I didn't have the £90)

Anyway, just recently I recompiled it from much improved online sources, including a complete "Hoover Factory"

Mark G, Sunday, 16 January 2022 12:05 (four days ago) link

I didn't think Hey Clockface was bad. Two of the advance "singles" for Hey Clockface, the title track and "Hetty O'Hara Confidential," felt like awful shit (or failed experiments to be kind) but the album surprisingly improved once I took those out. Without them, the whole thing turns into a cleanly bifurcated album with Side A focusing on the edgier, harder material and Side B showcasing his love for pre-rock pop ballads and torch songs. Side B is still an acquired taste but at least it's done well (much better than the dreadfully bland and dull North), and Side A wound up being pretty good.

I want to say he's consistently put out a good run of EP's over the last 15 years, each with four or five newly-recorded studio cuts that I really enjoy. Unfortunately they weren't released as EP's, they're all sunk into hour-long albums that don't extend that level of quality through the remaining tracks.

birdistheword, Sunday, 16 January 2022 17:40 (four days ago) link

"At the very least this is his most *exciting* album since "When I was Cruel" (regardless of how anyone feels about that one)."

absolutely. I think Cruel was an alright album, pretty good, too long, but it was the last album by him I purchased and listened to a lot, and that was the last time I saw him. I wish he'd toured after this new one came out and not before, because I agree that this one is his best album since Painted by Memory. For one thing, Imposters are really sounding like the Attractions again (though I wish Nieve was a little higher in the mix).

akm, Thursday, 20 January 2022 21:26 (two hours ago) link

I'm still listening to this thing, which uh I don't often do with any EC album as I age.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 20 January 2022 21:27 (two hours ago) link

yeah me too. thanks for that review, it got me to give it a fair listen.

akm, Thursday, 20 January 2022 23:33 (seventeen minutes ago) link


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