Irish Times, August 7, 1999

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The Very Best Of Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello

Kevin Courtney

Twenty-two years after My Aim Is True, Costello has wobbled in and out of vogue, sometimes overreaching himself, as on The Juliet Letters, his collaboration with The Brodsky Quartet; sometimes underachieving, as on 1984's Goodbye Cruel World, but more often hitting the mark with a sharp lyric and a curled sneer. This two-CD set covers all the Costello bases, from the New Wave assault of Armed Forces to the retro beat of Get Happy! right up to his recent collaboration with Burt Bacharach and his version of Charles Aznavour's "She." Fireworks are inevitable as Costelloisseurs argue over the inclusion of "Veronica" or the omission of "Mystery Dance": my only argument concerns the sheer volume of material here, 42 songs in total. We know he's a genius — there's no need to rub it in.

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The Irish Times, August 7, 1999

Kevin Courtney reviews The Very Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions.


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