Hazleton Standard-Speaker, June 9, 1996

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Hazleton Standard-Speaker
  • 1996 June 9

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All This Useless Beauty

Elvis Costello and the Attractions

David Bauder / Associated Press

This was to be another of Costello's concept albums, with songs that Elvis wrote first for other artists, until he backed out and included some newer material. The idea was a good one, though. It seemed to focus Elvis and his band on strong songs, not just a sound. Producer Geoff Emerick is Costello's most sympathetic collaborator other than Nick Lowe, and certainly the most careful: The arrangements are meticulous and quite unique for this veteran band. Although some of Costello's lyrics still baffle — what's this about "bamboo needles" and "shellac of Chopin," anyway? — the songs are sharp. All This Useless Beauty is heavy on the ballads, and will take some getting used to, but it has a richness and depth Costello has often missed over the last decade.

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Hazleton Standard-Speaker, June 9, 1996


David Bauder reviews All This Useless Beauty.

Images

1996-06-09 Hazleton Standard-Speaker page.jpg
Page scan.

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