Difference between revisions of "West Australian, July 10, 1996"

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After 20 years it's always a question of percentages but Elvis Costello's figures are looking better than most. If you're biased towards the kind of depth that unfolds like a good book, ''All This Useless Beauty'' takes his number of fair dinkum great albums close enough to a dozen out of 17.
 
After 20 years it's always a question of percentages but Elvis Costello's figures are looking better than most. If you're biased towards the kind of depth that unfolds like a good book, ''All This Useless Beauty'' takes his number of fair dinkum great albums close enough to a dozen out of 17.
  
As they should beyond the reaches of fashion, age and experience have continued to increase Declan McManus' stature as (stop me if you've heard this one) one of the truly great songwriters. Self-doubt and male frailty are big themes this time, with "Poor Fractured Atlas" and "Why Can't a Man Stand Alone" among the most insightful of his whole, too-clever-by-half career.
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As they should beyond the reaches of fashion, age and experience have continued to increase Declan MacManus' stature as (stop me if you've heard this one) one of the truly great songwriters. Self-doubt and male frailty are big themes this time, with "Poor Fractured Atlas" and "Why Can't a Man Stand Alone" among the most insightful of his whole, too-clever-by-half career.
  
The happily reinstated Attractions' exceptional versatility is an asset as always, from cabaret country to bright beat pop to fragile, tear-tugging piano ballads. As on his last master stroke, 91's ''Might Like a Rose'', the really wonderful parts of ''Useless Beauty'' keep rock 'n' roll at arm's length.
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The happily reinstated Attractions' exceptional versatility is an asset as always, from cabaret country to bright beat pop to fragile, tear-tugging piano ballads. As on his last master stroke, 91's ''Mighty Like a Rose'', the really wonderful parts of ''Useless Beauty'' keep rock 'n' roll at arm's length.
  
 
Elvis Costello never wastes an opportunity to string a few words together and his tunes remain as hardy as any since Cole Porter had his first tinkle. Shall we knight him now, Your Majesty, and save time?
 
Elvis Costello never wastes an opportunity to string a few words together and his tunes remain as hardy as any since Cole Porter had his first tinkle. Shall we knight him now, Your Majesty, and save time?
  
(9/10)
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{{tags}}[[All This Useless Beauty]] {{-}} [[The Attractions]] {{-}} [[Poor Fractured Atlas]] {{-}} [[Why Can't A Man Stand Alone?]] {{-}} [[Mighty Like A Rose]] {{-}} [[Declan MacManus]] {{-}} [[Cole Porter]]
 
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[[Michael Dwyer]] reviews ''[[All This Useless Beauty]]''.
 
[[Michael Dwyer]] reviews ''[[All This Useless Beauty]]''.
  
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[[image:All This Useless Beauty album cover.jpg|180px|border|link=All This Useless Beauty]]
  
 
{{Bibliography notes footer}}
 
{{Bibliography notes footer}}

Latest revision as of 19:40, 5 December 2020

... Bibliography ...
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West Australian

Australia publications

Newspapers

Magazines

Online publications


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All This Useless Beauty

Elvis Costello

Michael Dwyer

9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews9-star (of 10) reviews

After 20 years it's always a question of percentages but Elvis Costello's figures are looking better than most. If you're biased towards the kind of depth that unfolds like a good book, All This Useless Beauty takes his number of fair dinkum great albums close enough to a dozen out of 17.

As they should beyond the reaches of fashion, age and experience have continued to increase Declan MacManus' stature as (stop me if you've heard this one) one of the truly great songwriters. Self-doubt and male frailty are big themes this time, with "Poor Fractured Atlas" and "Why Can't a Man Stand Alone" among the most insightful of his whole, too-clever-by-half career.

The happily reinstated Attractions' exceptional versatility is an asset as always, from cabaret country to bright beat pop to fragile, tear-tugging piano ballads. As on his last master stroke, 91's Mighty Like a Rose, the really wonderful parts of Useless Beauty keep rock 'n' roll at arm's length.

Elvis Costello never wastes an opportunity to string a few words together and his tunes remain as hardy as any since Cole Porter had his first tinkle. Shall we knight him now, Your Majesty, and save time?


Tags: All This Useless BeautyThe AttractionsPoor Fractured AtlasWhy Can't A Man Stand Alone?Mighty Like A RoseDeclan MacManusCole Porter

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The West Australian, July 10, 1996


Michael Dwyer reviews All This Useless Beauty.

Images

All This Useless Beauty album cover.jpg

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