To attempt to compare Elvis Costello to any other genre or musical style would be unfair as well as inaccurate. This 33-year-old has lead the revolt against pop music for over a decade and does so again in his latest effort, Spike.
Spike, Costello's 12th album, includes the talents of Paul McCartney, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Chrissie Hynde.
"Veronica," the first single off the album was co-written with McCartney. The song depicts a story about an old woman who is losing touch with her memories and youth. "Veronica" is catchy, upbeat and a definite hit. It has instant appeal upon first listen.
The album overall is a mix of upbeat songs balanced with love ballads such as "Baby Plays Around" where Elvis reveals his pain about an unfaithful girlfriend. This is very effective as Costello performs this song soley with his acoustic guitar and scratchy, yet soothing voice.
Don't be fooled by these earlier tracks. Costello also sings of politics about his native land of England and his feelings about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Costello makes these feelings very obvious in "Tramp the Dirt Down."
Costello's one-man show includes some visual imagery as well as his acoustic guitar.
On stage with the performer will be a 6-foot satin heart. Upon the heart are 13 and 1/2 deadly sins, said Loren Lazarony, member of the Ohio-Drake Unions Activities Entertainment Committee.
Members of the audience are escorted to the stage by ushers dressed in wolf costumes. They are given a spike which they are instructed to drive into the heart, thus revealing one of the sins, Lazarony said.
At this point, the victim of this charade must act out the sin or ask Costello to sing a song, any song related to the sin. Offbeat? Yea, well that's Costello.