Scanning errors uncorrected...
Recorded in Holland and produced by Nick Lowe, this is Elvis Costello and the Attractions fourth album and inspite of the twenty tracks it is probably their worst recording to date.
It is still characteristically Costello, the strangulated verging on whining vocal style is still ,very much in evidence but they are mixed very low and it is difficult to make out the lyrics (no lyric sheet to consult either), what used to be a strong point of Costello's, The record is mellower with a more country and western feel to it Indeed, no one could dub this 'new wave', which was the title he used to 'be classified under. He has lost his old sense of-urgency, and the psychotic emotional songs are all hackneyed now, too calculated-an&sterile. Thus it fails to rank as highly as. his previous albums. It is essentially a progression from 'Armed Forces', but only. downhill. Whereas the songs on the previous albums were all classics, these songs; are alfficult to disting- uish from each other. They are all very short so you don't get bored, but-then they are too short to allow you to get into them, so they don't make any impression.
The majority of the songs follow the same format, faifly toe-tapping beatt, vaguely catchy choruses and a strong emphasis on Steve Niave's keyboards, the occasional guitar solo and quite a solid bass beat,. A few tracks stand out, mostly on side one side two fades'into ob-scurity. The single (the only song
not composed by Costello) 'I can't stand up for falling down' is strong and danceable: 'Beaten to the' punch' is reminis-cent of the Merseybeats; 'I stand accused is a good fast dance number;iMotel Matches' is a nice country and western song but some-how Lenny Rodgers would have sounded better. As for 'Get Happy!'? This is. more like .'Gct Bored and Disappointed'. Oh well, perhaps E.C. spent too much time in Holland sight-seeing ir the park.