For those of you who may recall, back around New Year's I was bemoaning critics' annual top 10 lists, all the while compiling one myself. Now I'm predicting this year's top 10 before the year is out. Among the contenders are:
This Year's Model, Elvis Costello — In contrast to the chunky, guitar-strung gait of his debut, here Costello is more powerfully passionate. The basic, firey playing of The Attractions, some destined-to-be-classic songs (give an ear to El's "Radio Radio," a stirring indictment of how radio programmers are "trying to anesthetize the way that you feel") and Nick Lowe's sonic, Phil Spector-inspired production all add up to an album of incomparable merit and energy. This music tells it like it should be happening, and Costello is angry enough to make sure it does happen.