On First Listen
Elvis Costello

By: Jayson Greene

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Posted 11/02/2006 - 12:42:10 PM by how2know924:
 i used to love elvis costello when i was a teenager. somewhere after 21, though, i began to find him extremely annoying. like the writer says, it's only one half of an interesting conversation. the attractions nearly always overplay, elvis tries to cram too many words into each line, and the songs never go anywhere. it's generic angry music. my girlfriend says that, like bob dylan, elvis costello is a "guy thing". she's probably right, but i'd add that he's more of a 17-year old boy thing.
Posted 11/02/2006 - 09:11:03 PM by proffokker:
 Coming from a guy who owns and enjoys Costello's first four, I enjoyed your article. Most people are rarely so articulate about their dislikes.
Posted 11/03/2006 - 06:09:02 AM by raskolnikov:
 Try the word "denunciation" instead of "denouncement"--you'll find that it sounds better and is a lot less awkward. Elvis hasn't held up well over the years, I agree, but how can you find fault with the savage perfection of the Attractions? The Thomases on bass and drums are especially nefarious musicians....
Posted 11/03/2006 - 06:02:19 PM by hunky_dory:
 Excellent excellent excellent piece. I really enjoyed it. I've been that guy at parties, so I can relate. However, consider this statement: "The cold efficiency of Armed Forces’s 'Senior Service,' with its clipped rhythms, calls to my mind rows of marching, jackbooted troops." Isn't that kinda a the point? Wouldn't you consider 'Armed Forces' a concept album of sorts (cf. Green Shirt, Two Little Hitlers, etc.)? Except they're the armed forces of looooooovvvve.
Posted 11/06/2006 - 07:16:22 PM by cwperry:
 "There is no catharsis in Elvis Costello’s music, only tension": that's exactly why some of his early music is so great. In the same way that Can and The Fall adore repetition, Costello's early adoration of tension brought a razor-sharp tongue to the table of 1970s singer-songwriters prone to nothing but catharsis.
Posted 07/22/2007 - 08:12:39 PM by iheartponeez:
 I just read this. I guess my only response is to the music feeling joyless. Of head and not heart. I would say: That's the point.