Q, April 1995

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Q Special Edition

UK & Ireland magazines


Mighty Like A Rose

Elvis Costello

Tom Doyle

Exhibit A when it comes to the self-proclaimed Beard Years, time has to some extent been kind to 1991's Mighty Like A Rose. Owing to the fact that most of the best tracks are programmed to the front of the album, it starts out positively — "Thc Other Side Of Summer"'s jaunty cynicism, the rattling paranoia of "Hurry Down Downsday," the alternative rock stars pilloried in "How To Be Dumb" (which, particularly through the presence of Pete Thomas and Larry Knetchel's Nicve-modelled piano frills, wouldn't have seemed out of place on Brutal Youth). For every "Sweet Pear" or "Invasion Hit Parade" however, there's the ill-advised Costello Sings Bono of "Broken" and or the Weill-like barroom dank of "Couldn't Call It Unexpected No.4." Of the two McCartney/McManus compositions, "Playboy To A Man" is still an ungainly rocker, while "So Like Candy" remains almost certainly the best thing to come out of their collaboration.

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Q, No. 103, April 1995

Tom Doyle reviews the re-release of Mighty Like A Rose.


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