Elvis Costello – Brutal Youth
(Warner Bros./Music On Vinyl – MOVLP817, 2013)
Elvis Costello – Brutal Youth (Warner Bros./Music On Vinyl – MOVLP817, 2013)
By Evan Toth
Happy 29th to one of my favorite EC albums. I have a vivid memory of buying the CD in 1994 on Park Row - in the shadow of the World Trade Center - at J&R Music World. I’m not sure what I’m more uncomfortable coming to terms with: the fact that the album is now nearly 30 years old, or that the reissue has already been sitting on my shelf for 10! It was Elvis’ supposed return to basics, a blast of youthful exuberance and a further continuation of EC’s explorations into songwriting majesty.
Sure, it might have benefitted by lopping a song - or two - from the track list, but the album’s density is part of its charm and identity; it’s a record that fools the listener into thinking it’s more approachable than it is. There’s always something new to hear; something you didn’t quite catch the first time around. Lots of lyrics and chords. Unpack as much as you wish, or just skip ahead to the rockers.