Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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A really fun car album
Dale E. Basye | Portland, OR United States | 10/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The ferocity, the self-deprecating lyrics (penned by Elvis Costello, where nearly every word is about the music industry's manipulations of fresh "puppet girls" such as James), and the mighty Attractions holding it all together ... this album wants to be played loud out of a convertible on a summer's day. I think the other reviewer must be dead and channeled his review from the beyond. Much of the later Elvis material would be better served by other artists. This is a delightful prequel to Brutal Youth, one of Elvis' best."
Music to Poetry
Phil S. | USA | 05/10/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Wendy James has a beautiful voice and is a compelling stylist. However, this project completely boxes in that satiny, sensous voice box, as she is required to work within the framework mentioned in this review title. Sometimes that restriction can produce an engaging emanation, as in the bizarre "Basement Kiss". Can't make heads or tails of the thing but her tonality and elocution of the word "kiss" is almost unbelievable.
The lyrics throughout this CD depict a depressing, rain-drenched Sunday dispelling any notion of a brisk walk in Hyde Park, just melancholy reflection.
Was Costello in a literary exercise, if you will, prepping for his "Brutal Youth" sessions? Was it a misguided "family project" (as many tracks are co-written by his wife at the time)? The writing seems hacky and pretentious, though when you have a great songwriter on hand there's bound to be sporadic brilliance. I found that "Puppet Girl", "Earthbound", and the finale, "I Want To Stand Forever" have some of that Kerouac-T. S. Eliot spirit about them...but nothing to *write home about* (pause).
The album is well produced and utilizes a full orchestra in spots, very effectively.