Bass Player, April 2008

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Bass Player

US music magazines


My Aim Is True / This Year's Model

Brian Fox

These Deluxe Edition reissues illustrate just how crucial Attractions bassist Bruce Thomas was to punk-pop icon Elvis Costello's sound. It's not that Costello's 1977 pre-Attractions debut My Aim Is True suffers from sub-par bass work; Andrew Bodnar, John Ciambotti (later of Huey Lewis & the News), and producer Nick Lowe have their share of fine moments on the record, especially with the deep reggae groove of "Watching the Detectives" and the easy-going bounce of "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes." It's simply that Thomas's inspired performances on 1978's This Year's Model put him in a league of his own.

Nearly every track on This Year's Model is a study of Thomas's independent and cocksure style. On "The Beat," "Pump It Up," "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea," and "Lipstick Vogue," King Bruce rules the sonic landscape with killer tone, wicked articulation, and inventive lines that seem to jump out of the mix and whack you across the face. Thomas and the rest of the Attractions strut their live stuff on bonus discs for both albums: A live 1977 set accompanies My Aim Is True, and one from '78 comes with This Year's Model. The live tracks are a little on the raw side, suffering from occasional clams and merely decent sound quality, but they're worthwhile nonetheless. As for This Year's Model, it's a must-have for any rock bassist seeking some inspiration.


Bass Player, April 2008

Brian Fox reviews the Hip-O deluxe editions reissues of My Aim Is True (September 2007) and This Year's Model (March 2008).


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