From the Vault...


Elvis Costello
"Brutal Youth"

© Warner Bros. Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Pony St.
  • Kinder Murder
  • 13 Steps Lead Down
  • This Is Hell
  • Clown Strike
  • You Tripped At Every Step
  • Still Too Soon To Know
  • 20% Amnesia
  • Sulky Girl
  • London's Brilliant Parade
  • My Science Fiction Twin
  • Rocking Horse Road
  • Just About Glad
  • All The Rage
  • Favourite Hour

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Elvis Costello related sites:
    Elvis Costello Website
    Previous Review: #1742
    Various Artists--50 Of The Most Loved Records Of Your Life
    Next Review: #1744
    Gloria Loring--Gloria Loring
    Elvis Costello
    "Brutal Youth"

    This week, Elvis Costello returns, with an "Elvis Costello" (solo) album. Most of his best well-known songs were with The Attractions. For those who remember those well-known songs by them, Brutal Youth, released in 1994, brings back the style of Elvis' early years, and a bit more. There is the punkish/early sound of his early years, and with a touch of jazz, which he would incorporate in his later albums from the beginning.

    Bringing back the past Elvis Costello sounds has the two opening tracks, "Pony St." and "Kinder Murder." But the real test of his early works is "13 Steps Lead Down" which could have been one of the songs from his debut album, My Aim Is True (credited as "Elvis Costello").

    Of course, there are tunes that are not as strong, and "This Is Hell" (despite the title), is one of those. But this track doesn't take the album down. The next track, is upbeat and bouncy, and a very good track, "Clown Strike." The album then takes a different turn (and a good one), with "You Tripped At Every Step." It's almost-jazz/almost-classical (the piano did this), brings a mellow sound. And Costello has always done well with jazz-oriented songs, making them his own. The next track is also mellow, "Still Soon To Know." (All good.)

    In his early years, Punk/New Wave was in its start, and some may have categorize Elvis' beginnings as either Rock and/or Punk. "20% Amnesia" has the punk'ish rock. Yet there is "Sulky Girl," and this tune is just smooooooooothhh Elvis rock. And for those who always remembered Costello's music from his humble beginnings to his well-known years, "London's Brilliant Parade" brings back that period, the typical Elvis sound. The same can be said from his Attractions hits, such as "Pump It Up" on "My Science Fiction Twin."

    For the rock and roll fan, I couldn't help comparing the next track, "Rocking Horse Road" to Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." A great rock tune for Costello. "Just About Glad" is another travel to Costello's early years, and speaking of, there's something nostalgic about "All The Rage." I can't reall explain it; it's just has a nostalgic tone. Ending the album is "Favourite Hour," a return to mellow, almost-jazz, only Costello can do.

    Brutal Youth is a fantastic, "if you're familiar with Elvis Costello's previous works, you'll enjoy this album." It's a look back on songs that could fit with previous releases, and more the most part, his earliest releases. Brutal Youth is one of many excellent albums. His earlier albums maybe better than this one, but it's easy to add this album to that list.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Bros. Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1742
    Various Artists--50 Of The Most Loved Records Of Your Life
    Next Review: #1744
    Gloria Loring--Gloria Loring