London's Brilliant Parade - Elvis Costello, Costello, Elvis
My Science Fiction Twin
Rocking Horse Road
Just About Glad
All the Rage - Elvis Costello, Costello, Elvis
The King reunites with The Attractions and Nick Lowe to see what sparks might fly. The opening trinity of cuts aside, the results only occasionally mimic the sound and fury of '78. Instead, Costello shelves the sweeping a... more »mbition that marred recent albums like Spike and Mighty Like The Rose, and lets his songs breathe in minimal, cleverly detailed musical settings of real genius. "13 Steps Lead Down" is a smashing, tongue-twisting marquee single; "Sulky Girl" has the allure of an Imperial Bedroom outtake; "London's Brilliant Parade" and "Clown Strike" are pop beauties. --Jeff Bateman« less
The King reunites with The Attractions and Nick Lowe to see what sparks might fly. The opening trinity of cuts aside, the results only occasionally mimic the sound and fury of '78. Instead, Costello shelves the sweeping ambition that marred recent albums like Spike and Mighty Like The Rose, and lets his songs breathe in minimal, cleverly detailed musical settings of real genius. "13 Steps Lead Down" is a smashing, tongue-twisting marquee single; "Sulky Girl" has the allure of an Imperial Bedroom outtake; "London's Brilliant Parade" and "Clown Strike" are pop beauties. --Jeff Bateman
"If your favorite Elvis Costello album is "Imperial Bedroom", you may be shocked by this album. If your favorite is "Armed Forces" or "This Year's Model", you're going to crank your stereo to 11, as Derek St. Hubbins says in Spinal Tap. The energy of Elvis Costello and the Attractions will leap out of your speakers from this CD, with an eclectic sound that ranges from the 'nice' sound of "London's Brilliant Parade" to the manic mania (ooh, but it's fun) of "My Science Fiction Twin". As someone else said in their review, Buy This Now."
D. Henderson | 02/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Any fan of Elvis is no fan at all if you do not own a copy of Brutal Youth. This '94 reunion with the Attractions produced some of his best work ever, in my opinion. Like many Costello records, you'll always be able to find something new to like about Brutal Youth. On first listen, I immediately fell in love with "Pony St.," "You Tripped At Every Step," and "Sulky Girl." Since then, I've listened to it thousands of times, and I've come to appreciate every song as a masterwork. Right now, my favorites are "Rocking Horse Road" and "All The Rage." This album really rocks, and I hope that in the future Costello is rightfully regarded as one of the most important songwriters of the century."
Buy This Now
D. Henderson | 07/24/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best Elvis Costello album in existence. With the catchiness of "Alison" and the cleverness of "Watching the Detectives," Costello gives the listener a collection that has easy-to-digest melodies coupled with complex themes. Every song is a gem; not only for being a cleverly-written pop song, but for being a cleverly-written piece of lyrics. Elvis has outdone himself- "Oliver's Army" times ten."
Elvis reunites with the Attractions
Greg Brady | Capital City | 01/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, this album regroups Elvis with the Attractions as his band.
Yes, it's got a great raw sound and energy. (Co-producer Mitchell Froom and recording engineer Tchad Blake likely helped to accomplish this.)
No, this is NOT one of his finest hours, sorry....there simply aren't the unforgettable hooks to match past triumphs like "(What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding", "Allison", "Pump it Up","Accidents will Happen" and "Everyday I Write the Book" to name a few.
It's a solid album while it plays and Costello devotees will probably like it, but it's not one that's likely to make those outside the fold take notice. There's not quite enough here that I find myself humming after it's over.
HIGHLIGHTS: "Kinder Murder" is the tale of a heinous crime ("Jimmy took her down to the perimeter fence/He was back in half an hour, he said he left her senseless/Then he went back to his regiment..")hushed up by the powers that be and rationalization. ("She could have kept her knees together/Should have kept her mouth shut..") "This is Hell" is the tale of an aging lothario who finds the old efforts of no effect anymore. ("It's not the torment of the flames/That finally see your flesh corrupted/It's the small humiliations that your memory piles up..") "Just About Glad" is Costello's sarcastic lament for the one that got away ("Just about glad/we didn't do that thing/Just about glad/we didn't have that fling..") as he imagines himself as "the greatest lover that you never had". In the end, he admits his self-deception ("And it's all just a stupid creation/Of my feverish imagination..")
LOWS: "20% Amnesia" lurches around in an arrangement that feels like it's forced, Costello trying to show us he can be "loose" and "raunchy" musically. The biggest fault of the album is mentioned by another reviewer: it's simply overlong. Too much material that's listenable while playing but not that memorable after ("Rocking Horse Road","London's Brilliant Parade","Still Too Soon to Know") drag down the album as a whole for me.
BOTTOM LINE: If you borrow it from the library or a friend and find you adore it, get the Rhino re-master instead (ASIN B00005Y1Y1) which has lots of alternate versions and demos of the album's tunes as well as the complete lyrics (which do NOT come in this original set). If you're NEW to Costello's music, don't start here. Look to MY AIM IS TRUE (ASIN B00005MLU0), SPIKE (ASIN B00005MLTW),THIS YEAR'S MODEL (ASIN B00005Y1XZ) or ARMED FORCES (ASIN B0000787GM) before this one."