Millsaps College Purple & White, April 8, 1986

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Millsaps Coll. Purple & White
  • 1986 April 8

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Elvis is King again

The Costello Show / King Of America

Reed Hubbard

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It has been almost a decade since an angry imp with the face of Alalfa Switzer and the glasses of Buddy Holly burst onto the worldwide scene under the name of Elvis Costello. He received immediate critical acclaim for his debut album, My Aim is True, as well for such excellent follow-ups as This Year's Model, Get Happy, and the outstanding Armed Forces. Those who have followed Costello for these past ten years are into a dozen or more short songs per album. Recently, Costello came forward and made it known that he was changing his legal name back to Declan MacManus and would only be known as Elvis on his albums. This announcement came directly before the most recent release by Elvis and the Attractions, King of America.

One listen to this album lets the listener immediately know that Costello is fed up with it all. In "Brilliant Mistake," he sings, "I was a fine idea at the time, but now I'm a brilliant mistake." Despite this attitude, Elvis has presented us with one of his best albums to date. This is a masterpiece in almost all respects, from the songwriting and musicianship to the production and the behind-the-scenes work. One can easily distinguish the influence of producer T-bone Burnett on this material, but it has Elvis Costello written all over it. "The Sleep of the Just" is a ballad that rivals such classics as "Party Girl" or "Alison" (with perhaps a tiny bit of Aztec Camera thrown for good measure). Obvious emotion is displayed in "American Without Tears" and "I'll Wear it Proudly", and his cover of the Animals' "Don't let Me be Misunderstood" is great.

From top to bottom, this is an excellent album and a must for the true Costello fan. Its appeal, however, is not exclusive to those that follow Elvis, for anyone with a love for sincere, well-done music will find it extremely satisfying and more. Recommendation for purchase is very high. You can't miss with this one.

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Purple & White, April 8, 1986


Reed Hubbard reviews King Of America.

Images

1986-04-08 Millsaps College Purple & White page 07 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

1986-04-08 Millsaps College Purple & White page 07.jpg
Page scan.

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