Stereo Review, July 1978

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Stereo Review

US music magazines

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This Year's Model

Elvis Costello

Noel Coppage

Recording of Special Merit

Elvis Costello looks like a nerd, but he doesn't sound like one at all. He sounds sort of like Bruce Springsteen, actually. But the main thing about This Year's Model, his second Columbia album, is how bright and with-it the whole band sounds as it plays the snappiest, most intelligent rock arrangements since the heyday of Steeleye Span. (Although unidentified on the album jacket, the band here is the Attractions, the same group that backed Costello on his first tour.) The songs don't seem all that impressive in themselves, but as the start of a process they apparently work pretty well. Costello's whole idea of a lyric continues to be that it is an assortment of put-downs, but, given that, he's better than some at stringing words together. It's what he does with the beat, though, that I find so fascinating here. The sound is primitive and sophisticated at the same time, and even if you identify with the people Costello whines at in the lyrics, you can't help getting caught up in the rhythms. It will be interesting to see what kind of audience he attracts.

Performance: Bright and canny
Recording: Very good

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Stereo Review, July 1978


Noel Coppage reviews This Year's Model.

Images

1978-07-00 Stereo Review page 109.jpg
Page scan.


Elvis Costello


Stereo Review

1978-07-00 Stereo Review page 05.jpg

Elvis Costello cannot be accused of thinking small. Cornered at a recent Nick Lowe gig at the Bottom Line, rock's ranking contender was asked if world domination was his ultimate career goal, as has been rumored. El's reply: "At least."



1978-07-00 Stereo Review cover.jpg 1978-07-00 Stereo Review page 03.jpg
Cover and contents page.

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