Boston Phoenix, May 29, 1984

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Peace In Our Time

The Imposter

Mark Moses

★★★

More and more, Elvis "The Imposter" Costello's flair for curt provocation seems in conflict with his ongoing love of songwriting craft. No doubt this is a good single, smart and trenchant — but it's also hedged. The cold-war setting of the A side dissipates when Costello forsakes the homely details of his native Europe (or wayward stabs at the American election: he's at ease exposing the political repercussions in mundane acts rather than chasing after the grand statement. The song's sad sway and graceful trumpet — part dirge, part national anthem — carry him along nonetheless. The B side's nod to Richard Thompson (a songwriter in whom tradition coexists with acuity) is a laudable gesture and a memento of Costello's acoustic tour, but Linda Thompson's rippling bottomless vocal on the original shames Costello both as small-town complainer and world-class singer.

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Boston Phoenix, May 29, 1984


Mark Moses reviews "Peace In Our Time"/"Withered And Died."

Images

1984-05-29 Boston Phoenix page 31 clipping.jpg
Clipping.

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