When I bought Elvis Costello's album My Aim Is True I was expecting little more than the standard punk fare of fuzz guitar and hackneyed lyrics. But upon listening I hear more. Finally, punk meets rock to form a new wave.
His band is of the early Sixties genre — one guitar, an organ, bass and drums. And his music? Chances are Elvis will never be noted for his guitar work. And the lyrics are only good. It is Costello's presentation that brings them to life.
When he spits "it took a miracle to get you to stay, it only took her little finger to blow you away." he affronts you. His music demands immediate attention. It threatens — then attacks. And you can't help but be overcome, not overcome with volume and boring presentation, but overcome by his cocky maniacal deliverance of songs he makes urgent.
The two hits on the album are "Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes" and "Watching the Detectives." The former is a rock basic that falls somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and the Ramones. the latter is a sickeningly sweet composition about a girl who watches the detectives and "files her nails while they're dragging the lake" for her victims.
Also included in this bonus package of 13 songs is "Allison," a teen love song about "stinkin' valentines" and Elvis' assertion that his aim is, in fact, true. And "Miracle Man" featuring lines like "Don't ya think dat I know dat walkin' on water won't make me a miracle man?" Shear poetry.
It may look like punk, but looks can deceive. You wouldn't call it punk if you just heard it and didn't see Elvis standing there in his knee-knock-and-stumble pose, thatched hair and cuffed jeans. It's not blatant punk; your girlfriend probably won't leave you for listening to it.
Elvis sings "She gets so angry when the teardrops start, he can't be wounded 'cause he's got no heart." Whether you have a heart or not, when Elvis loads his weapon with high powered lyrics and fires point blank watch out because his aim is true.