Central Florida Future, September 16, 1983

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Punch The Clock

Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Rod Durham

Elvis Costello has ditched the old, black horned-rimmed glasses for a new pair of fashionable ones on the cover of his newest album, Punch the Clock. The same could be said for the music on this album, which has Costello and the Attractions trying new musical styles, while still managing to show off Costello's brilliance as a songwriter.

No more is this apparent than on the lovely "Everyday I Write the Book," which starts off with Costello crooning in a soul-inflected voice that shows off a range not really appreciated before. "T.K.O. (Boxing Day)" owes its success to a powerful horn section and the sensuous, soulful background vocals by Caron Wheeler and Claudia Fontaine. Costello also utilizes Wheeler and Fontaine's vocal talents on the album's funkiest cut, "Charm School."

Although the Attractions play with verve on every song, Costello's singing tends to get lackadaisical at certain points, especially on "King of Thieves," and "The Invisible Man." But there is no disputing Costello's talent as a songwriter. "Shipbuilding," the album's only topical song about the war in the Falkland Islands, showcases a haunting trumpet solo by Chet Baker and one of the most emotional vocals by Costello. "Pills and Soap" may be the best song on this album, with its cynical lyrics directed at the insensitivity of the media.

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Central Florida Future, September 16, 1983


Rod Durham reviews Punch The Clock.

Images

1983-09-16 Central Florida Future page 13 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

1983-09-16 Central Florida Future page 13.jpg
Page scan.

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