Goldmine, April 1979

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Armed Forces

Elvis Costello

Al Wagenaar

Some of Elvis' staunchest die-hards just may be upset when they hear his latest. Gone are the punchy vocal spurts of venom they grew used to on This Year's Model. Also missing is the primitive instrumental surge they fell victim to on My Aim Is True. Like I said, some just might be update. But not me! Sure, I loved both of those basic Costello trademarks, but all I have to do is listen to what he's replacing them with, and my apprehensions dissolve. The keyboards are to the fore, emphasizing a more subdued, but certainly no less articulate Elvis.

"Peace, Love And Understanding," (the new single) on its own can bring questions of Elvis' aesthetics, however, when taken in the same score that allows "Goon Squad," it's not hard to keep the faith. Elvis is still firmly committed to the spirit of a new music in the context of rock, with the only new perspective being his own growth in musical textures and scope. All purists to the side! Elvis, like the rest of us, needs room to breathe. And he may catch more than his breath if my first intuition is right — "Accidents Will Happen" sounds like one pure stroke of hit single genius.

Tags: Armed ForcesThis Year's ModelMy Aim Is TrueGoon Squad(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?Accidents Will Happen

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Goldmine, No. 35, April 1979

Al Wagenaar reviews Armed Forces.


1979-04-00 Goldmine page 22 clipping 01.jpg

Page scans.
1979-04-00 Goldmine pages 22-23.jpg

1979-04-00 Goldmine cover.jpg


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