Mojo, July 2005

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Mojo Classic

UK & Ireland magazines


King Of America

The Costello Show

Mike Barnes

From '86 one of Elvis's favourite albums returns in "vastly expanded" form.

Fine though it was, Costello's first foray into country music, 1981's Almost Blue, smacked of pastiche. But by the time of King Of America — recorded in LA with top session players such as guitarists James Burton and T Bone Burnett — he'd assimilated those strands into a more individual style. There are a lot of raw nerve ends on show: "Indoor Fireworks" is exceptionally bitter, even by its author's standards. The 21-track bonus disc, with liner notes by Elvis, makes an irresistible package. The acoustic solo demos — despite Costello deep into the whiskey — are gripping. There are some fine outtakes too: "Betrayal" would certainly have given a lift to the album, and the seven in-concert cuts show off his backing band, The Confederates, as a formidable live unit.

Tags: King Of AmericaRhinoEdselAlmost BlueT Bone BurnettJames BurtonIndoor FireworksKing Of America (2005) liner notesBetrayalThe Confederates

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Mojo, No. 140, July 2005

Mike Barnes reviews the Rhino / Edsel reissue of King Of America.


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