Elvis Costello pays Aimee Mann a supreme compliment by opening his album with a version of 'Til Tuesday's "Other End of the Telescope." So strong is this Costello/Mann collaboration, that it casts a long shadow across the rest of All This Useless Beauty, Costello's second rebound with the original Attractions, and a disc designed to showcase a sample of songs written by Elvis but originally cut by other acts. We prefer the beauty and subtlety of Useless Beauty over the more brash Brutal Youth. Without the strain of reintroducing the Attractions concept, Costello seems comfortable in his past literacy. On the Costello scale of My Aim is True to Kojak Variety, we'd rank Useless Beauty more in line with Imperial Bedroom, a testimony to Costello's calligraphic songwriting and the consistency of Geoff Emerick, who produced both projects.