Elvis Costello is a recording artist whose vision is more perspicacious and therefore more complex than most. He counters a revolutionary stance with a refusal to take his art too seriously, with the result being an album that is critical without being didactic. Though none of the songs carry the immediate impact of "Less Than Zero" or "Waitin' For the End of the World," he had admirably avoided self-parody, no little feat for a contemporary of the Sex Pistols. His four-piece band is tighter than before, and the melodic content of the songs has been augmented by the addition of an organ. As a background for poetry of a sort, the band plays an admirably simple blend of rock and roll, reggae, and sixties-style r&b, driving more urgently than on My Aim Is True through the twelve songs, which consist lyrically of love songs interspersed with well-placed barbs on subjects of some social importance. Standouts are the ironic "Radio Radio" and "Lip Service."