Columbia House, September 1991

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Columbia House
  • 1991 September

US music magazines

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Mighty Like A Rose

Elvis Costello

Columbia House

They say a rose is a rose... but you won't find many buds that smell as sweet as the latest offering from Elvis Costello. Thorns and all, Mighty Like A Rose captures this modern rock master's talents in full bloom.

After 15 years (and as many albums), the former Declan MacManus remains as inspired and unique a performer as ever — and as Mighty Like A Rose proves, he's not about to rest on his laurels. His flair for the offbeat is clear on the smash "The Other Side Of Summer," where a sunny surf melody adds a sarcastic tone to Elvis's song of social indifference.

Costello once again joins forces with Paul McCartney (who co-penned the Spike smash "Veronica") for a pair of luscious pop numbers: "Playboy To A Man," which will envelop you in rollicking blues-rock riffs, and the spare, lyrically twisting "So Like Candy." Mighty Like A Rose is hardly candyfloss, though — in fact, it contains some of the always-acerbic Costello's most cutting work in years. "How To Be Dumb" is a sarcastic owner's manual for a pop life, and the scathing "Hurry Down Doomsday" presents the apocalypse as a not entirety undeserved fate for mankind.

He's recruited some able musical help, too... from Heartbreakers' keyboardist Benmont Tench, guitarists James Burton (who played with the "other" Elvis) and Marc Ribot and old pal Nick Lowe. Together, they've woven a web of musical finery that showcases Elvis's flawless songcraft with guts and grace.

He's not the type to offer glitz and gold, but Elvis Costello has given us the best grit of all... one perfect Rose!

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Columbia House, September 1991


Columbia House reviews Mighty Like A Rose.

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1991-09-00 Columbia House pages.jpg
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