Belfast Telegraph, May 2, 2002

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Belfast Telegraph

UK & Irish newspapers

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Elvis is as angry as ever

Elvis Costello / When I Was Cruel

Neil McKay

In this year of assorted punk and new wave anniversaries, Costello, fittingly, has produced one of the most remarkable albums of his career.

Remarkable because it's six years since he last made a "rock" record, remarkable because he still sounds as angry and p.....-off as ever, and remarkable because even now he still refuses to settle for the easy option.

"45," "Tear Off Your Own Head" and "Daddy Can I Turn This?" spit and crackle with the spirit of '77, "Alibi," with its pay-off line "Cos I love you just as much as I hate your guts" is classic sneering Costello, and "Spooky Girlfriend" utilises a trippy dance backing.

And there's more... "15 Petals" is powered by a slightly mad brass riff, and the stunning, cinematic "When I Was Cruel No 2," mixes a Spanish rhythm with big twangy guitar to magnificently moody effect.

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Belfast Telegraph, May 2, 2002


Neil McKay reviews When I Was Cruel.


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