People, April 29, 2002

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When I Was Cruel

Elvis Costello

Kyle Smith

Elvis Costello sounds like a man half his age. Determined to unlearn everything he knows about pop and classical, Costello has recycled the sonic angst of his 1978 classic This Year's Model and applied it to new songs such as the standout "45," about how records and years tend to pile up on you. It's fair to say that crash-bang, bass-thumping tracks like "Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)" could not have been written by Burt Bacharach, Costello's recent song-writing buddy.

Costello plays his guitar like a teenager who wants to set off every neighborhood car alarm; the lyrics offer such pearls as "I love you just as much as I hate your guts." Who can resist a 47-year-old blowing spitballs at the world?

Bottom Line: Pump it up

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People, April 29, 2002


Kyle Smith reviews When I Was Cruel.

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2002-04-29 People clipping 01.jpg
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