It's almost a given that an Elvis C record will not be a rockpiece, but will venture along the "interesting" tag. On the way, however, interesting became good, which became magnificent (witness King Of America). To other people, interesting meant it was time to jump ship (I myself can't swim).
Spike boggled me at first, now I've come to like it a ton. There's perhaps too much of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band here, and maybe even too many instruments (like a book may have too many words). This makes things sound too concerted ("Deep Dark Truthful Mirror") while the simple stuff ("Baby Plays Around," "Any King's Shilling," and "Last Boat Leaving") sound so great.
Within these 14 songs (62 minutes, whew) are some real catchy tunes which examine some weird characters, so what else is new? Maybe that Spike is bringing more of the vocalist out in Elvis C (is it OK to say "out in?"), and when he does this stuff live, you know he's gonna be spitting and gesticulating wildly (I read he's planning a solo tour now, plus a big band tour if Spike is popular).
Obvious single is "Veronica," the Wurlitzer dream pop song co-writ w/ Paul McCartney (I hope this is the single. I heard it on the radio ere Spike came out), but I melt at the slow, deliberate and (politically) biting songs (the 3 simpleton tunes above, "Tramp The Dirt Down" and "God's Comic"); Elvis C's talent for wordplay is, well, playful (unless you happen to happen to be Maggie Thatcher).