Costello's insecurity is revealed with each new release. Each album is composed of what the previous album lacked. For example, King of America, released early last year, was an easy-going and intricate gem. The latest record from this self-critical songwriter replaces the measured grace with incautious anger — by far the most belligerent record from Costello in years. Death-obsessed "Tokyo Storm Warning" is a long, embittered tune in which the confused angst about global affairs obscures the melodic brilliance. "I Want You" is a passionate ballad, but it's a love song of a tortured soul. "Bad Little Bird" is a song about a childhood tainted by depression and abuse. Instrumentally, the hard edges will remind Costello fans of the early days. Vocally, the gruff, throaty techniques bring authenticity to the troubled subject matter. This is by far Costello's most tormented, unhappy record. And he was never a real happy guy to begin with.