Watching Elvis Costello from album one, this I conclude. As a writer, Costello has shown finesse and astounding expertise in both his lyrics and melodies. On his most commercially successful releases, lyric and melody are of equal importance. On his more obscure efforts, the lyrics usually take command. Such is the case on Mighty Like A Rose, where lyrical marathons like "How To Be Dumb" and "Invasion Hit Parade" splatter and sizzle images as obscure as "emptied asylums" and "Disco Tex and his Sex-o-lettes." (What did ever happen to Monte Rock III?). Perhaps last year's commercial success with Spike enables Costello to return to taking liberties as heard on the lushly arranged "Harpies Bizarre" and the L. Cohen-like "After The Fall." From an airplay standpoint, after "The Other Side Of Summer," you're on your own, baby.