From the Vault...


Elvis Costello & The Attractions
"Blood And Chocolate"

© Columbia Records

Year of Release: 1986

track listing
  • Uncomplicated
  • I Hope You're Happy Now
  • Tokyo Storm Warning
  • Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head
  • I Want You
  • Honey Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?
  • Blue Chair
  • Battered Old Bird
  • Crimes Of Paris
  • Poor Napoleon
  • Next Time Round

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    Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    "Blood And Chocolate"

    Once again, Elvis Costello & The Attractions makes another appearance here as the Album Pick of the Week (March, 1998). This 1986 release, Blood And Chocolate, returns Elvis in the style shown on his debut album, as rock meets punk (at least on the first three songs.) This album is not as grabbing as his debut, but it has that unique sound, heard in Costello's early years.

    The first three tunes have that rock/punk sound, it does somewhat have a late-Sixties feel to it. Tokyo Storm Warning has the Standells' Muddy Water feel, yet it doesn't really sound exactly like it. The Sixties feeling is somewhat heard in the opening two tracks, too: Uncomplicated and I Hope You're Happy Now, even though the rock/punk sound is there too.

    Home Is Anywhere You Hang Your Head is a typical slow tune; pretty much in the style of previous Costello slowies, despite the sad tale as this song tells: Trying to get over someone. I Want You is another slowie, as it mostly features an acoustical guitar, with brief mixtures of a psychedelic guitar.

    Honey Are You Straight Or Are You Blind returns Elvis in the rock punk mood. Blue Chair is more of a pop rock track. Another slowie follows, Battered Old Bird. Crimes of Paris is another pop-style tune, likewise Poor Napoleon. These two have a somewhat different pop-sounding effect. Lastly, Next Time Round ends the album as another pop-sounding tune as the previous two songs heard.

    Blood And Chocolate may not be considered Costello's triumphant albums, but as I browsed through the lyric sheets of the songs, I found the lyrics to most songs to be of sadness and despair. This makes sense that a lot of the songs are not as upbeat as most popular Costello albums. I Hope You're Happy Now tells how one hopes for happiness for an old love. I Want You is a desperate cry for wanting another person, where in fact, it won't happen. Another personal event in Costello's life at the time, was that he had just been divorced in 1985, and remarried in 1986. So maybe these thoughts may have been from personal experiences (???).

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    Previous Review: #566
    Bee Gees--Main Course
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    The Time--Ice Cream Castle