published: 18 /
Upbeat but sometimes abstract latest album from Elvis Costello om which he reflects on his own and other men's growing pains
Elvis Costello says he is addressing growing pains of his own on his latest album, 'The Boy Named If'. The new record harks back to the sound of Costello's earliest albums – like 1978's 'This Year's Model' with a set of punchy, melodic tunes driven by his own raucous guitar playing and the drumming of Pete Thomas who performs with the same kit he used throughout the 1970s.
The thirteen new songs on the new release, according to Costello, “take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child – which for many men can be any time in the next 50 years."
Elvis Costello, now 67, is widely regarded as one of the UK's most accomplished singers and writers - though it can sometimes be a little hard to grasp just what he is singing about! On the rather wordy 'Trick Out The Truth' track, he mentions Lady Godiva,, Godzilla and “playing cards with Gustav Mahler”. While 'Mistook Me For A Friend' sees him with “a pocket full of Presidents, a suitcase full of elements, the double-cross of spectacles, a mogul for mechanicals.” Nice rhymes.....but meaning? - Answers on a postcard, please! Other tracks are easier to fathom. 'Penelope Halfpenny' examines the dreams of an old teacher. 'My Most Beautiful Mistake' features a jaded Hollywood screen writer and a young waitress dreaming of stardom. This track revisits the country-rock of Costello's first album, 'My Aim Is True' and its lyrics contain references to Smokey Robinson's Motown standard 'The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game'.
Throughout the album the music is strong and rousing. 'Farewell OK' sounds like The Beatles playing Hamburg's Kaiser Keller at their powerful best!
'The Boy Named If' avoids wallowing in nostalgia for youthful salad days. Costello is too knowing, too smart to do that. Instead, the new album is more about him looking back at his young life with a knowing, archly raised eyebrow.
The Boy Named If
What If I Can't Give You Anything But Love?
Paint The Red Rose Blue
Mistook Me For A Friend
My Most Beautiful Mistake
The Man You Love To Hate
The Death Of Magic Thinking
Trick Out The Truth
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