NC State University Technician, March 3, 1989

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Elvis lives


Matt Byers

Brand new Costello album features variety, "Veronica"

I remember a certain teen-ager backstage — playing pinball, talking to his buddy and cracking on Elvis Costello. A man playing "Birdie King" heard it all but said nothing. He didn't need to say anything. His show that night proved he was a popular entertainer.

Times change. It's been two years since Costello's last album, and people have forgotten about him.

It's time to remember.

Costello's new album, Spike, has finally hit local record stores. The songs are the same, and the artist is just as good as he used to be.

Spike isn't as coherent as Costello's past work. The only constant on this album, in fact, is its lack of consistency.

Costello, known for surrounding himself with other musicians, does it again on Spike. And with the diverse array of artists contributing to the vinyl, few tracks sound similar.

Musicians supporting his album include The Dirty Dozen Brass Band (instead of The Attractions), T Bone Burnett, Chrissy Hynde, and even Paul McCartney.

The album's opening cut, "This Town," catches attention with its chorus: "You're nobody 'til everybody in this town thinks you're a bastard."

Now that's a creed to live by.

The track's jerky rhythm shows the influence of two Of Tom Waits' henchmen, who also helped with the album.

"Veronica," co-written by Costello and McCartney, may be the best song on the album. It has a pop-rock Beatles feel to it, and it's on its way up the Top-40 charts.

Another favorite from the new album is "Satellite," listen for the theme of The Odd Couple threading through the song.

Costello has no problem expressing himself on with Spike. He's a hell of a song writer.

One bummer on Spike is the eclectic array of musical instruments. If your musical tastes aren't varied, you nut> find some Costello tunes irritating.

Six years later, the pinball wizard takes back the bad things he said about Elvis Costello.

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Technician, March 3, 1989


Matt Byers reviews Spike.

Images

1989-03-03 NC State University Technician page 03 clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

1989-03-03 NC State University Technician page 03.jpg
Page scan.

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