The two best songs here: "Shipbuilding" and "Pills and Soap," move Costello out of his insularity and into the kind of social comment that made his first three albums so vigorous and rich, albeit with very different musical overtones and emotional perspective. The catchiest number here, "Everyday I Write the Book," simply has a better melody than most of the rest. Costello's pun-riddled lyrics and Steve Nieve's piano playing are the principal points of interest on the rest. But there's no denying that it would be swell to hear him make rock as nasty and powerful as This Year's Model and Armed Forces once more. Until then, we'll settle for his pop phrasing and occasional ability to make sense of things (like the Falklands war – in "Shipbuilding") in a way that no other rock musician can do.