Review of The Very Best Of Elvis Costello
Sydney Morning Herald, 1999-10-29
- Bernard Zuel


We Do The Thinking For You

by Bernard Zuel

Even if you are not a Costello tragic such as yours truly, this is a cracker of a mainstream compliation (so no classical or jazz excursions) - from Alison and Peace, Love and Understanding, to Everyday I Write the Book, from Oliver's Army and Pump It Up to his cover of Charles Aznavour's She. There's 80 minutes of nearly hits and songs that didn't get close, but rack up major brownie points (Radio Radio for example: rampant cynisicm wrapped in fragrant power pop). So you get Soul (I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down), Country (Good Year For The Roses), Classic Pop (God Give Me Strength), Americana (Indoor Fireworks), reggaeish rock (Watching the Detectives), candy (I Wanna Be Loved) and bitterness (I Want You). Oh Yeah, and 20 songs without a dud.