Greensboro News & Record, March 31, 1994

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Costello, band were made for each other

Elvis Costello / Brutal Youth

David Wild / Rolling Stone

★★★★

Brutal Youth may not officially be called an Elvis Costello & The Attractions reunion project, but that is in effect what this welcome and spiky musical treat sounds like. And the truth is that there are few sounds in rock as passionate and intelligent as the sound Costello makes with his longtime backing band. Produced by Costello and Mitchell Froom, Brutal Youth features Costello with drummer Pete Thomas, keyboardist Steve Nieve and bassist Bruce Thomas, as well as beloved associate Nick Lowe, also on bass. The result sounds superficially a bit like retro New Wave nostalgia, but Costello remains too gifted a writer to let the album be only that. Some of the songs are too busy lyrically for their own good, but the best — like "Kinda Murder," "13 Steps Lead Down," "Sulky Girl" and "Just About Glad" — are thrilling. Elvis is one old brute who is always worth hearing.

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The News & Record, March 31, 1994


David Wild reviews Brutal Youth and Tasmin Archer's Shipbuilding.









Shipbuilding

Tasmin Archer

David Wild / Rolling Stone

★★★

This release — somewhere between an EP and full album — is a weird little sophomore set by Tasmin Archer, who made a name for herself worldwide with "Sleeping Satellite," a memorable hit that's present on Shipbuilding in a somewhat less haunting acoustic version.

The heart of Shipbuilding, however, are the four Elvis Costello covers that kick off the album — the title track, "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror," "All Grown Up" and the lovely "New Amsterdam." Archer isn't going to make anyone forget the originals, but it's a pleasant tribute nonetheless.

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