Chart Attack, April 30, 2002

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When I Was Cruel

Elvis Costello

Kate Guay

"It was so much easier when I was cruel / She reaches out her arms to me / Imploring another melody / So she can dance her husband out on the floor." "When I Was Cruel No. 2" owns any musical sensibility you might have. It's seven minutes of perfectly crafted brilliance, punctuated beautifully by an Italian woman singer sample and a well-timed ABBA quote. Yes, that sounds bizarre. But if that's not your thing, don't worry. After taking a personal hiatus for the last seven years, collaborating with others (like Burt Bacharach — remember Austin Powers 2?), When I Was Cruel is a jangly return to the Costello that rocks out sarcastic and witty lyrics over radio-friendly tunes. Elvis will always stay timeless with that formula — but for those who also want the seven-minute lounge tune, you get your just desserts.


Chart Attack, April 30, 2002

Kate Guay reviews When I Was Cruel.


When I Was Cruel album cover.jpg


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