Arizona Daily Star, March 9, 1986

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
- Bibliography -
7475761977787980
8182838485868788
8990919293949596
9798990001020304
0506070809101112
13141516171819 20


Arizona Daily Star

Arizona publications

US publications by state
  • ALAKARAZCA
  • COCTDCDEFL
  • GAHA   IA      ID      IL
  • IN   KSKYLA   MA
  • MDME   MIMNMO
  • MSMTNC  ND  NE
  • NHNJNMNVNY
  • OHOKORPARI
  • SCSDTNTXUT
  • VAVTWAWIWY

-

Old themes from Costello have never sounded better


M. Scot Skinner

Those who despise the dry cleverness and coy intellectualism of Elvis Costello will be cheered to learn that he won't be around much longer. The British genius of song has legally changed his name back to the name he was born with, Declan McManus.

King of America, his new LP, is a visitor's less-than-flattering view of the United States. It begins with "Brilliant Mistake," a typically disturbing Costello song in which his tremulous voice sounds more naked and true than it has in years. It is a wonderful song, and the rest of the album is no less satisfying.

King of America the 12th Costello album, and his first U.S. recording since 1981's Almost Blue is an alternately straightforward and ironic collection that plays on many of the same themes Costello has dealt with previously: profound disillusionment, domestic life and strife, romantic game-playing and betrayal.

Costello's always dexterous wordplay is only a bit less obtuse than on his last album, the overproduced mass of sly confusion called Goodbye, Cruel World. Here, the sometimes-dense lyrics are put into a warm, gutsy environment that sounds neither mannered nor self-conscious. The sound is roots-oriented, sparse yet rich, with plenty of American folk, blues and country flavorings.

For this, easily his best effort since 1982's Imperial Bedroom, Costello has effectively jettisoned the band that has been linked with him all these years. The Attractions play on just one track, "Suit of Lights."

Costello — sorry, the name McManus hasn't sunk in yet — employed some hot studio musicians for the live sessions, including Hall & Oates' rhythm section, and Southerner Mitchell Froom, who played keyboards, mostly Hammond organ.

As with every Costello album, King of America works on many levels at once. It is frequently cool and intellectual, but also affectionate and downright lovable. Among other things, the LP is a near-perfect farewell to Elvis Costello. Bring on Declan McManus, I think we're ready for you now. Based on this album, the name has "best new artist of 1986" written all over it.

-

Arizona Daily Star, March 9, 1986


M. Scot Skinner reviews King Of America.

Images

1986-03-09 Arizona Daily Star page J-08 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

Page scan.
1986-03-09 Arizona Daily Star page J-08.jpg

-



Back to top

External links