Review of All This Useless Beauty
People, 1996-05-27
- Craig Tomashoff

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Okay, so Costello's last release, 1995's Kojak Variety, was simply a collection of cover tunes. After releasing 17 studio albums in 19 years, the prolific singer-songwriter deserved to take it easy. But his old work ethic has apparently kicked back in--only 4 of the 12 tunes here have been previously recorded. The result is one of the most sophisticated discs of Costello's career. His old bandmates, the Attractions, are back, and the music seems closest in spirit to 1982's Imperial Bedroom. Each song has a twist to it, like "Complicated Shadows," a rock number that opens quietly but literally builds to a scream. The album is so good, in fact, that Costello has earned himself a real vacation. (Warner Bros.)


PHOTO BY: Derek Ridgers/LFI