Friday, November 18, 2022

Albums of the Year # 38 Elvis Costello & The Imposters - The Boy Named It



In the words of the biggest Elvis Costello fan I've ever known,( and he would know ), he's got his mojo back. He and The Imposters new record The Boy Named It is the first really great album that I've heard in 2022.

The fact that EC has got that mojo back by going back to how he sounded at his peak between the late Seventies and early Eighties is an interesting one. His rage and irritance and general contrariness was always his greatest strength and it seems that he's realised it. Or re-realised it.

These characteristics were always abundantly clear and made him stand out from the crowd even at that fabulous period when rage and irritance and general contrariness, were apparently the order of the day. But Costello always brought something different to the table. He was always whip smart and never content to be one of the herd, not even the Punk herd, and it's great to hear him resserting what made him so very, very special in the first place.

The Boy Named It is full of Costello's signature eloquence and insight and pop concision, even if your never entirely sure exactly what he was on about. I confess I never knew entirely what he was on about. I'll leave that to my very good friend the biggest Elvis Costello fan I've ever known, who is on his way out to buy the record today in Baltimore, (his new home), as I write this with a spring in his step.

I'm sure that Rod ,(for that's the name of  that guy), will be more than happy. In fact I'd dare to say, he'll be just thrilled.Remarkably I'd say that The Boy Named It is one of the best albums that Costello has ever made. That's an almost impossibly claim to be able to make given that the man is 67.

It certainly doesn't sound like a record made by a man of 67. He sounds like he's in the rudest of possible health. I'm only just starting to listen to it, but I'm already sure that I'll be coming back to it again and again over the coming months, because it's immediately something of a wonder. I'd describe it as vital, and that's something that Costello hasn't been for a long, long time.

Perhaps Spanish Model his wondrous reinvention of his and The Attractions own early masterpiece This Year's Model, rendered in the Spanish tongue was a sign in the road. of where he was planning to go next. That was one of my favourite albums of last year and this already seems destined to be one of this yea'rs, even writing exactly midway through January.

So what do you get. Trademark wisdom. Trademark ire. Trademark melodic crafstmanship. Thirteen punchy and remarkably uptight lessons in life and how to stand up to all of its injustices, contradictions and pain. And why, despite all of this, it's very, very much worth living. Of how sometimes it's best to go back to the beginning and rediscover how you felt then and why. Then to stand up and testify and rage once more against the dying of the light. This is just wonderful product. Respect to the guy!

P.S. Rod has  bought the record and initially is bored and cannot stand the album. I was entirely mistaken in his reception to it. A shame.

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