Elvis Costello's new album Get Happy is another unusual accomplishment in his short, but so far spectacular career.
First, in 1977 Costello quit his computer programming job and made My Aim is True which was chosen album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine.
Costello was chosen best songwriter by Rolling Stone staff members.
Last spring in a Columbus nightclub, he made national headlines by quarreling with Stephen Stills and members of Still's road crew about who had done more for rock music.
Now, Costello's Get Happy is a rarity in the music world because it contains 20 — yes, 20 — songs on one album. And Get Happy is a great album.
From "I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down" to "High Fidelity," Costello musters a relentless attack that just doesn't stop.
Costello's guilt- and revenge-laced lyrics dominate the album. As in previous works, Costello tears into love, society/human relations and the "beautiful people" with a vengeance.
Costello stands out from other new wave bands because of his ability to lance the listener's soul with his poignant description of the cruel and ambiguous occurrences in the world.
Providing the music for Costello's messages are the Attractions. The simple, but tight drum, bass and organ sound cranks out a solid, hard-driving beat for Costello.
The songs are short and snappy (no song is over 3:36) with a good-time sound.