Elvis's Third,The Attractions Second And A Lot Of Fun
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 03/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wheras this album primarily focuses on 2-3 minutes songs,typical of Brit-pop at this time Elvis & The Attractions second album together is really works best when taken as a whole.No it's not conceptual and the music doesn't exactly flow together in any particular way. Nonetheless the sound doesn't alter from song to song. The 13 songs included here generally place the focus on Costello's new musical mission;a digestion of contemporary pop of the 60's and 70's from The Beatles to ABBA,whom were both huge inspirations to this music.Says quite a lot for a genre that at this point is literally railing against "phony Beatlemania";I guess at least this guy say past the commercial irony of it all and how both of those previously mentioned influences impact on early British New Wave rock. Sure enough "Accidents Will Happen",the hit "Oliver's Army","Busy Bodies","Big Boys" and "Goon Squad" all have a similar structure.All are a slightly more full bodied pop variation of the more basic impact of his debut My Aim Is True or This Year's Model. They key to this album is how,even in it's similar moments this album is very highly transitional. Any alligiences that Elvis might've owed musically to the punk era began to erode here and the sound moves closer and closer to "poppy sound'.Which is pretty strange because the lyrical subject matter couldn't be any more punky;the power struggles of militarism in society.The album title is not a misnomer.Nevertheless there are some musical changes of pace that indicate something new is on the way;the arrangement of "Green Shirt" could definately be described as psychedelic while "Mood For Moderns",
"Sunday's Best" and "Two Little Hitlers" have a very pronounced soul leaning,with the kick and syncopation and the drums and all especially."(What's So Funny) About Peace,Love And Understanding",a Nick Lowe tune,is the most obviously punl/new wave song here and the hardest rocking. I would'nt qualify this as Costello's GREATEST album-in some ways it's not very diverse and result is a lot of songs that kind of sound alike. But it's one of his strongest early albums outside his debut and one well worth getting into."
Almost too catchy for its own good
IRate | 03/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Costello's signature airtight pop-rock is wrapped even tighter with his third, AF. Although a bit of over-effort takes away from a little memorability, the disc sounds about equal in quality with his previously two universally praised albums, if anything supplementing the raw energy with compositional agility."
Christopher E. Miller | Utica, NY | 05/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Still sounds great after all these years. Along with 'My Aim is True', 'Armed Forces' is the other album you must have to understand the sound and fury that brought this huge talent to prominence."