Q, March 2002

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Q magazine
Q Special Edition


This Year's Model, Blood & Chocolate, Brutal Youth

Danny Eccleston

This Year's Model  5-star reviews5-star reviews5-star reviews5-star reviews5-star reviews
Blood & Chocolate  4-star reviews4-star reviews4-star reviews4-star reviews
Brutal Youth  3-star reviews3-star reviews3-star reviews

If they'd been the Pistols there'd have been fizz in Bruce's sandwich.

To Demon's already estimable Costello reissue range, add three with a common theme: the Attractions. This Year's Model from 1978 was Costello's first with the band, a still-incredible combination of songwriterly spleen, Bruce Thomas's melodic bass doodles, Steve Nieve's ingenu keyboards ("like sirens" writes Costello) and Pete Thomas's preposterously musical drumming. Blood & Chocolate — the cranky, love-raddled 1986 reunion — spawned the bestial "Uncomplicated" and the unbearably exposed I Want You, though Costello is keen to note that their next meeting, for 1994's nostalgia-laced Brutal Youth, was by default rather than design. Best here is the beat-poppy "13 Steps Lead Down," maddest is the electorate-chiding "20% Amnesia" — like Neil Young's "Fuckin' Up" with upsetting Brecht/Weill interludes. In all three cases, the bonus CD is a surprising boon (there's a lovely version of the James Carr-associated "Pouring Water On A Drowning Man" attached to Blood & Chocolate), while Costello's sleevenotes are funny, enlightening and rarely resist a sideswipe at Thomas.

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Q, No. 188, March 2002

Danny Eccleston reviews the Rhino / Edsel reissues of This Year's Model, Blood & Chocolate and Brutal Youth.


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Cover and contents page.


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