Modern Recording & Music, April 1978

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Modern Recording & Music

US music magazines


My Aim Is True

Elvis Costello

Gil Podolinsky

No producer, engineer or studio credited. Sources at Columbia say the album was recorded and produced in England by Jake Riviera.

Performance: Nothing new
Recording: Average

This guy reminds me of Graham Parker, who reminds me of Bruce Springsteen, who reminds me of Bob Dylan. Isn't lineage great? You get the point. His tunes are catchy, but there's more than that going on in the market place than what's happening here.

"Welcome To The Working Week," the first tune on the album, has an overall feel of being compressed. With nothing more than guitar, bass, drums and vocals to record, the vocal is centered and has an interesting effect thanks to the apparent use of a compressor/ limiter. The drums, however, didn't fare as well, coming through flat, fat and lacking in character. At the outset, the track sounds like a throwback to the Beach Boys first efforts due to the phasing of the lead vocal and the "ooh-ahh" back up chorus. The guitar and bass play the same notes and have the same accents; the bass is muddy and the Fender Jaguar guitar cut with slight reverb. The guitar is also affected by the compressor/limiter treatment, being placed back in the mix. One minute, twenty-two seconds later the song ends with the classic Dave Clark 5 ending — a short, aborted drum roll.

On "Alison" (which sounds remarkably like a Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes number), vocals are centered with a nice clean lead guitar figure played left throughout the song. A vibratoed Fender Rhodes is right. Bass and drums are centered. Double track the vocal for the chorus and there you have it. Separations on this track are much more noticeable than on the preceeding ones. All in all, it's not a bad album, it's just that it sounds too much like Springsteen for my ears to become enthused.


Modern Recording & Music, April 1978

Gil Podolinsky reviews My Aim Is True.


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Page scan.

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Cover and contents page.


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