SUNY Oswego Oswegonian, October 12, 2000

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My Aim Is True

Elvis Costello

Travis Durfee

My Aim is True was the debut album by one of the most influential yet least recognized singerisongwrite en of his time period, Elvis Costello. In 1977, Costello was labeled somewhere in the grey between punk and new wave, but his vocal and lyrical abilities prove that he exceeds categorization. This album showcases a lackadaisical punk rock attitude, with songs that sound like 50s and 60s throwbacks; sharp, poignant lyrics, and a voice that can go from zero to 60 without warning. Costello had proved himself an original and one to watch for years to come.

My Aim is True was recorded on a shoe-string budget in a total of 24 hours in the studio on holidays and sick days from Costello's day•job. Produced by Nick Lowe, the album features the band Clover, (who would eventually go on to more commercial success working for Huey Lewis), as Costello's backing band. Costello's songwriting aside, Clover plays a big part in making this a truly great album. Costello's intelligent lyrics run from the stream of the singer/songwriter genre, popular in the early 70s. With Clover rocking behind him, the album's sound is truly unique.

Costello's lyrics are unafraid, right up-in-your-face honest, and sometimes brutally so. An example can be found in 'Wave a White Rag: an ode to spousal abuse. Torments of love are given ample air time on this album. in "Miracle Man," Costello reflects on a past love; *Why you have to say there's always someone who can do it better than can? if Don't you think that I know that walking on water won't make me a miracle man?' *Alison," Costello's beautiful ballad to the girl who keeps looking past him, is one of the finest studio works on the album with tight musicianship from bassist Johnny Ciambotti, drummer Mickey Shine, and John McFee on guitar.

The album as a whole was a masterpiece when it was originally released in 1977. Its re-release on CD by Ryocdisc in Oct of 1993 feae tun nine remarkable bonus tracks of acoustic songs, where Costello's throttling vocals truly shined, and ieclectic studio traits foreshadowing the changes to opine in Costello's recording career. My Aim is True is definitely a positive addition to any CD collection. This is advice coming from me, Radiohead, the Beastie Boys., the Smashing Pumpkins. and Maynard James 1Ceenan.

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The Oswegonian, October 12, 2000


Travis Durfee reviews My Aim Is True.

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