Elvis Costello CD Review

Elvis Costello – When I was Cruel – 15 song CD (Island)
Produced by the Imposter: E.C., Ciaran Cahill, Leo Pearson, & Kieran Lynch

How refreshing to hear a rock record from our old pal Elvis whose been ensconced in Juliet Letters and the Burt Bacharach back catalog for far too long. He roars back here with a collection of songs that showcase all the things that make him essential: his attitude, his cynicism, and his wicked wit. Tossing off lines like, She slaps your face like a tambourine and I want a girl whose helpless and frail , he manages to sound like his old self while not ripping himself off. In the liner notes he winks at the challenge by stating “we used a highly skilled team of musicians and engineers to ensure that we did not accidentally make a record that had been previously released.” The seven minute When I was Cruel no.2 employs a mysterious and sexy one word sample repeated from an Italian sixties singer named Mina. At first I thought it was Nico but then I remembered Nico is dead. Elvis ain’t. -Eric Holland

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