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Armed Forces

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

1979

Armed Forces

Album Summary

Armed Forces is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Elvis Costello, released on 5 January 1979 in the United Kingdom through Radar Records. It was his second album with the Attractions–bassist Bruce Thomas, drummer Pete Thomas (no relation) and keyboardist Steve Nieve–and the first to officially credit them on the cover. The album was recorded in six weeks from August to September 1978 at Eden Studios in London under the working title Emotional Fascism. Produced by Nick Lowe and engineered by Roger Béchirian, the sessions saw Costello exert more control over production compared to This Year's Model (1978), while Nieve contributed more to song arrangements. Most of the material for Armed Forces was written on the road throughout 1978. For the album, Costello sought a more commercial sound than the punk rock style employed on his two previous records, resulting in a more pop-oriented production reflecting the new wave era. Musical influences included David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk, the Beatles and ABBA. The overtly political lyrics concern the effect of politics on human relationships. The UK release featured an elaborate fold-out LP packaging, with a cover depicting a herd of elephants, which was simplified for the US release through Columbia Records, which featured an alternate drip-cover. Initial pressings of also included a promotional three-song EP titled Live at Hollywood High. Supported by the successful UK singles "Oliver's Army" and "Accidents Will Happen", Armed Forces reached number two in the UK, becoming Costello's biggest commercial success up to that point. The American version, released in February 1979, omitted "Sunday's Best" and replaced it with Costello's version of Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding". The album received positive reviews from music critics and appeared on several lists of the year's best albums. Costello and the Attractions supported the album on the Armed Funk tour in America, which was plagued with issues, including an incident with Stephen Stills that nearly destroyed Costello's reputation in the country. In later decades, Armed Forces has continued to receive positive reviews, with many highlighting the production. Others noted that it contained musical styles Costello would utilise for later records. It is considered one of Costello's best works and has appeared on various best-of lists. The album has been reissued multiple times, including in 2020 as a super deluxe edition, which was positively received.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.18

Votes

5148

Genres

  • Rock
  • New Wave
  • Pop
Reviews
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Fri Feb 12 2021
3

Good album, unexpected slur

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Thu Apr 15 2021
2

Elvis Costello is highly overrated. This album is no exception. Literally. There is not a single exceptional track on this album. The mixing and production isn't even very good on this album. It's all mids and compressed to hell so everthing sounds flat.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

Elvis Costello was huge for me and my friends in college. Got a taste for his music in high school from my stepdad. Especially the 77-80 albums. Some of the most brilliant lyrics. So intelligent yet they still have have real emotional punch.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

I don’t need to listen to this. I could sing it to you I’ve played it so many times. A favourite album by a favourite performer. The lyrics and the ever changing arrangements, his voice gets richer with age.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

I love this album. So smart, so melodic, such great production. The songs are varied, each with its own identity, great playing, whip-smart lyrics, great melodies, inventive and tight playing. Beatle-esque in places, this album was great leap forward, and showed much more of the breadth of what E.C. could achieve. I could listen to this album over and over without getting bored. The singles are classics.

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Fri Feb 25 2022
5

The angry nerd returns, spitting lyrics as sharp as the twanging chords on his guitar. He originally wanted to call this album 'Emotional Fascism". If that doesn't let you know the theme of this album then nothing will. Best Tracks: Accident Will Happen; Oliver's Army; Green Shirt

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Tue Apr 13 2021
4

I really enjoyed this album. Funnily, I had never listened to an Elvis Costello album despite loving all of the singles. The sound is really lush and well produced. I enjoyed it, although the singles are definitely the most singalongable of all the tracks on the album. I do enjoy Elvis's lyrics too. He is very witty.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
2

I've given Elvis Costello's music so many chances with selections from across the decades, and no matter what I listen to I find his singing and songwriting to be absolutely insufferable.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

Besides the weirdness of a time where progressive dudes thought they could throw around the n-word, this is a back to back classic.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
5

The middle album of what I like to think of EC's Big 3. Great song after great song. The run from Senior Services through Goon Squad is absolute song writing gold. It bogs down slightly after that with the next three songs which aren't quite as strong, but we finish with a bang with Chemistry Class, Two Little Hitlers and the Nick Lowe penned; Peace Love and Understanding (though that last one is not included on my British pressing). A great album easily worthy of a 5 star rating.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

This is a work of genius. Pastiche meets pop. I’ve forgotten how brilliant the lyrics are. How dense each song is. How distinctively Elvis Costello’s voice is in each song. Puns and deft rhymes. Rhythms pushing each track forward. One of the greats.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Great Album. Genuine Classic

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

Enjoyed it a lot more overall than I thought I would when I first put it on. His voice isn’t the best, but he wrote some meat songs that lyrically were surprising densely packed. Favorite Track(s): “Senior Service,” “Party Girl,” and “Two Little Hitlers

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Sun Jul 18 2021
4

Fortuitously enough for me, Elvis Costello’s third album appeared in sequential order, having already heard My Aim Is True and This Year’s Model. Fortuitous, because it gave me a chance to really hear his songwriting and musicality develop. The angry spiky first album, gave way to a more fleshed out sound with The Attractions on the second; and this, Armed Forces, builds on everything with a more soulful sound. I also love the depth of songwriting, clever word play and range of subjects (not just aggressive, brooding internal monologues on unobtainable women). This could be his best album yet. It’s terrific.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
3

On This Year's Model his paranoia was a dazzle of primarily romantic barbs and hexes, deliberately flirting with nastiness, which makes this Zevonian fixation on geopolitics a refreshing change. He's a phrase maker above all, so it's longer on rhetoric than ideas, but that's fine with me when his word slinging is this good - "a breath you took too late... a death that's worse than fate", "it's no laughing party / when you've been on the murder mile", "you tease and you flirt / and you shine all the buttons on your green shirt", "somewhere in the Quisling Clinic / there's a shorthand typist taking seconds over minutes", "two little Hitlers will fight out until one little Hitler does the other one's will" - and his rhythmic smarts this sharp. And then amidst all the political wordplay, "He wants as no one can / he wants to know the names of / all those he's better than" comes across like an accidental nugget of self-knowledge. Bet that describes Elvis to a T.

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Tue Dec 07 2021
3

Yet another Elvia Costello album. Find him incredibly beige!

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

One of my fav Costello albums and maybe my fav with the Attractions.

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Fri Apr 23 2021
5

I liked this pretty well actually.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

These guys rock, Oliver's Army is one the all time best.

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Sun Apr 18 2021
5

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Sun Jul 04 2021
5

On some days this is my favorite Elvis Costello album.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

Just need to say that this album sounds so clean.

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Fri Oct 08 2021
5

Great album, classic

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Wed Oct 27 2021
5

Bongo

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

You can’t go wrong with early Elvis.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

I liked it - upbeat but not over the top, some cool inatrumentals

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

The middle album of what I like to think of EC's Big 3. Great song after great song. The run from Senior Services through Goon Squad is absolute song writing gold. It bogs down slightly after that with the next three songs which aren't quite as strong, but we finish with a bang with Chemistry Class, Two Little Hitlers and the Nick Lowe penned; Peace Love and Understanding (though that last one is not included on my British pressing). A great album easily worthy of a 5 star rating.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

¡Qué agradable sujeto! Ya habíamos hablado de lo agradable que puede ser la música de Elvis Costello, y sin embargo, creo que este disco es todavía mejor y hasta lo agrego a mi biblioteca. Creo que mi único y muy pequeño pero, es que su voz no es mi favorita. No como que sea desafinado, sino que el siento que sus canciones podrían sonar aún mejor con otro timbre.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
5

Creo que nunca le había puesto atención a algo de Elvis Costello y vaya que me gustó. Siempre me ha causado un poco de problema cuando cantan letras que no riman y se hacen cuadrar con la música un poco a fuerza y aunque esto sucede en varias de las canciones, las letras son muy buenas y puedo hacer caso omiso de esto. Las mayoría de las melodías son pegajosas con letras que dicen más que lo que está escrito. Sí me dejó un poco de arrepentimiento no haberle pegado antes a Elvis Costello. Songs: Senior Service, Sunday's Best, Two Little Hitlers, (What's so Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding

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Sat Jan 22 2022
5

I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, you’d know what a drag it is to see you. You’re an idiot, babe, it’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe. You say you’re lookin’ for someone… to close his eyes for you, someone to close his heart, someone who will die for you and more- but it ain’t me babe. ‘Mr Narrator, this is Bob Dylan to me. My story could be his songs. I’m his soldier child.’ So writes the late D. Boon- guitarist, singer/songwriter of The Minutemen- on ‘History Lesson-Part II. Surely, Elvis Costello is Dylan’s other soldier child. He possesses every characteristic that makes Dylan Dylan: brutal honesty (including self-assessment), civil/cultural/political/martial/ecclesiastical awareness/astuteness, humor; and, let’s not forget, a supportive backing band as good as any Dylan ever led (and he led some great ones.) Elvis and The Attractions are categorized as new wave, but that’s like labeling Dylan folk rock. Sure, sometimes. But artists like these (Neil Young, as another example) just don’t fit and remain in one place very long. Too melodic for punk, too deep for new wave, too modern for classic rock- look, I don’t care what you call it, 'Armed Forces' is just a great LP every which way you experience it. It might even sound good played backwards, or repeatedly beaten with a plunger. I bet your bangers and mash would even taste better if you ate ‘em off this LP! I sat on this CD once in my bare ass and then wrote three good songs. ‘For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise,’ the early Christian evangelist Paul sarcastically wrote to one of his congregations. Elvis, though, like Dylan before him, really IS wise, IS speaking wisdom. And most certainly IS NOT suffering gladly fools or fascists, fortunate fledglings or feckless forbears. Elvis may have been willing to give his ‘Party Girl’ ‘anything but time,’ but as a lifelong fan (upon hearing his debut LP in college) I’m ‘pledging my time, to you (Elvis), hoping you’ll come through too.’ And you always do.

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Sun Feb 06 2022
5

Great tunes.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Paul says: I just don't know where to begin. One of my favourite Elvis albums, with three of my favourite Elvis songs: Accidents Will Happen and What's so Funny (yeah, I know it's a Nick Lowe tune, but like Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah, it's become the definitive version) and Oliver's Army. Steve Nieve became his George Martin and made Elvis's songs into post-punk treasures.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

wonderful

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Sat Apr 02 2022
5

Oh, I just don't know where to begin Love doesn't wait forever It's now or never But she keeps 'em hangin' on The silly champion She says she can't go home without a chaperone Accidents will happen They only hit and run You used to be a victim now you're not the only one

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Anything Elvis Costello did with the Attractions is magic, but Armed Forces is one of their very best. The band's chemistry is rock solid, Nick Lowe's production is rich and nuanced, and Costello's songwriting is witty and incisive in a way most lyricists could only dream of being. The man can turn a phrase like no one else. These songs are incredibly listenable with stellar pop hooks and some beautiful arrangements, but it's not always easy music. It's beyond clever to couch interpersonal and sexual politics in the language of sociopolitical conflict (and vice versa), but it's also the kind of songwriting that leaves some listeners cold. I happen to love it. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Oliver's Army; Two Little Hitlers; (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding; Big Boys; Accidents Will Happen; Goon Squad; Party Girl; Senior Service; Green Shirt; Busy Bodies; Chemistry Class; Sunday's Best; Moods for Moderns

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Mon May 09 2022
5

Really good

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Tue May 10 2022
5

goon squad banging,

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Fri May 20 2022
5

This is a six stars album.

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Mon Jul 18 2022
5

The randomizer did not give me a lot of time between Elvis Costello albums. That's fine with me. "Armed Forces" is the third album from Elvis Costello and his second with The Attractions. It found Elvis moving in a more pop direction relative to his first two which were more punk focused. Produced by Nick Lowe. I would say the music is fairly more complex for pop with great layers of keyboards and an outstanding rhthym section. Influences were and appear to be David Bowie, the Beatles, Beach Boys and 60's pop in general. There's also a dance and funk element. The song themes are politics and relationships. And just some wonderful lyrical interplay between the two in some of the relationship songs. The political theme focuses on the armed forces and bigger companies taking advantage of the underprivileged. The original title was called "Emotional Facism." The title change was probably a good move. The album starts with "Accidents Will Happen," the second single, and a more pop-oriented song with great keyboards and styled after The Left Banke's "Walk Away Renee." Based on a relationship Elvis had with a taxi driver in Tucson. The first single was the politically charged "Oliver's Army" with a piano intro and great drumming. It's about the army taking advantage of disadvantaged young people in Northern Ireland and Oliver is Oliver Cromwell. Some other great politically-themed songs are "Senior Service," "Green Short" and "Goon Squad." "Moods for Moderns" has always been a favorite of mine with again great keyboards and a dance groove. The narrator is defintely bitter towards his ex-girlfriend. A special mention goes to his Nick Lowe cover "What's So Funny (About Peace, Love and Understanding). It was not included on the initial UK release but appeared on the US edition and reissues. A concert highlight in the couple of times I've seen him. This is a fantastic album and one of Elivs' best for sure.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

10/10 super fun no complaints

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Name a better lyricist than Elvis Costello. Pro-tip: you can't. The way he blends interpersonal strife with world politics is on great display here as evidenced by the title of the record. New wave music brought new sounds but this album does not depart from The Attractions sound: chirpy keyboard, muscular bass, and tight, anxious drums.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Amazing infusion of New Wave sounds with The Attraction's classic touches. Insightful lyrics about world politics, imperialism, life, love. Catchy melodies. What's not to love about this classic?

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Hits galore

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Sat Nov 05 2022
5

Elvis can't do anything wrong, it's perfection. the N-word should bother me but it doesn't. The mention of the term darkies should too as well as that one of the songs are called "Two Little Hitters", but it doesn't every song is just perfect that all those problematic terms feel like afterthoughts.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

One of his best

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

Really good!

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Clever (& audible!) lyrics. catchy, well-written songs all round. Some of them (Goonsquad, Peace Love & Understanding) still get indie radio play.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Lots of good songs on there

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

Pretty good!

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

rock sympa precurseur

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Sat Apr 03 2021
4

That's how Buzzcocks should have sounded. I will probably listen to it again.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

This was really fun. I can't believe I'd never listened before!

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Klingt find ich nach ruhigen The Cure

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Very, very solid Elvis Costello album. A few more experimental tracks on here, which was fun to hear in his style!

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Quite good, I liked it!

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

There is a certain energy in his performances, and his recognizable voice make it easy for me to say that I like Elvis Costello. I’ve heard a lot of songs from Costello before, but up until now, I think that the only album I’ve listened to is a greatest hits compilation. Hearing this studio album was a pleasant surprise. About 1/4 of the tracks are, “I WILL listen to this song again” (5 stars), 1/4 are “I WOULD listen to this song again” (4 stars) and rest of the album was at least likeable (3 stars). There were familiar tracks that I still like ("Oliver's Army", "Accidents Will Happen", and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" <-- the album I listened to contained this additional track from the US / Canadian release). Interestingly enough, my favorite track was "Green Shirt", which I don't think I've ever heard before. "Busy Bodies" was also a pleasant surprise. My least favorite track was "Sunday's Best". I would listen to this album again as a whole (4 stars).

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Wed May 26 2021
4

Not groundbreaking, but upbeat and solidly enjoyable the whole way through.

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Pretty good!

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Never listened to the whole album before. Liked it.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Very different than what I’m used to listening to, but surprisingly enjoyed most of the tracts. Added Oliver’s Army to my 1001 playlist

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

Nice album

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

Insisto: Elvis Costello tiene una gran voz y fluye bien con todo lo que sucede alrededor. Me quedo sobre todo con "Accidents Will Happen", "Senior Service", "Sunday's Best" (canción juguetona) y "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding". 8/10

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

A gusto, supongo que súper popular en la época. Siento que es el ancestro del britpop (hasta lo culero y a la vez satisfactorio de escuchar a los vocalistas, entre voz de embrios y con un atisbo de que en realidad sí podrían cantar mejor, pero deciden no hacerlo) y predecesor de lo único interesante que pudo ofrecer el britpop: un rock pegajoso, semibailable y exitoso con las juventudes jajajaja :V Favs: Goons Squat.

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Sun Jul 25 2021
4

14 canciones. 3 muy malas, incluyendo la que le da nombre al album. Aún así, es muy bueno. Tiene Big Boys, que es de mis favoritas de este wey.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
4

I cannot get enough of Mr Costello’s voice. It has an elasticity and a fragility, a tenderness and a boisterousness. Here it’s put to good effect rolling with the punkish punches of the attractions. It’s consistently good and consistently danceable. High quality stuff.

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Mon Sep 20 2021
4

I had a joke for this I think but I forgot

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Tue Oct 05 2021
4

enjoyed this album, don't recall having previously heard any of the songs

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Elvis Costello is typically hit and miss with me, but this album was mostly hit. Pleasantly surprised. I do like his version of Peace Love and Understanding.

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Tue Oct 12 2021
4

Political and sarcastic songs. Nevertheless, there is also no shortage of danceable tempos in pure teenage style, like Chemistry Class and Green Shirt. This album will remain his masterpiece. (7/10) Favourite tracks: Olivers Army, Two Little Hitlers

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

Sounds like the basis for Tom Petty's sound. Good album

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

Another good one from Elvis (he's the king) Costello.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

141021 18:03 4

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Wed Oct 20 2021
4

While not as good as his previous album, he is 2 for 2 for good rock music and a great sound. I love Lowe’s timeless production.

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Thu Oct 21 2021
4

Enjoyable music. 0RS

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Sat Oct 30 2021
4

Enjoyable, hip album

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

Het had niet twee dagen op rij gehoeven, maar ook deze plaat van Elvis C kan ik erg waarderen.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

Heerlijk, ik vind deze nog beter dan de vorige maar toch 4 sterren

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

Yeah prettyvsolid stuff

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Wed Nov 10 2021
4

It was good!

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Thu Nov 18 2021
4

Had a Lenny Kravitz or Prince kinda vibe.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Oliver’s Army was a cracking tune. Others didn’t make such an impression, but maybe they deserve another listen.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

Un disco que me agrada bastante, es una muestra muy sólida de por qué Elvic Costello sí es bueno a pesar de sus constantes cambios. Especialmente agradables los sencillos "Oliver's Army" y "Accidents Will Happen". También me encanta (What’s So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding, una canción que algunos fans de Costello sé que desprecian. No había escuchado nada de este disco quizá en quince años y en realidad ha envejecido muy bien. Las canciones son todas de Costello, pero son un poco más brillantes, ajustadas y densas, manteniendo bastante elemento pop. Me gusta cómo es capaz de hacer todo eso cuando la letra de muchas de las canciones tiene un elemento político. Puedes cantar alegremente "Oliver's Army" para darte cuenta de que se trata de una guerra, un asesinato y que contiene insultos raciales. En cierto modo, eso hace que estas canciones sean muy adecuadas al fondo y forma de este tipo de musicos como Costello (o Devo... que no viene al caso pero me recuerda un caso similar). La mayoría simplemente cantarán coros, pero algunos de nosotros lo investigaremos más a fondo para encontrar un contexto para estas canciones.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Hanging tree,

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

Die einzigen Probleme: die Lieder klingen einander sehr ähnlich und eine bestimmte Textstelle, die auch den meisten anderen hier aufgefallen ist.

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

Good and solid

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

4/5. Elvis Costello can make a banger sometimes

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

I am all about Elvis Costello on this list. Clearly I should have made more of an effort to get to know his catalog before now, but I am lazy and was too busy listening to some other bullshit because that's the life I've chosen. Didn't flip for every song, but overall it's an easy 4 stars from me.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
4

Disliked it at first, but I slept on it and gave it another listen. Now I really like it!

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Sat Jan 22 2022
4

8'5

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

Very solid Costello album, not quite up there with My Aim is True but still tons of funny lyrics and catchy tunes. 8/10

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

8/10. Pretty fun, pretty good

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Fri Jan 28 2022
4

7/10 a little disappointed to see that Elvis Costello succumbed to the British musician instinct to make a song that sounds like circus music. Less frantic sounding than his prior two albums but also way less catchy. Lyrics are pretty strong though

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Meio sem graça...

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Sat Feb 19 2022
4

I'm surprised how negative the reviews of this album seem to be - it's pretty solid from start to finish, almost every track got me bopping along and there's enough lyrical depth to be worth paying attention without going full Cohen-level poetic nonsense.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Forgot all the great songs on this one.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

It was alright.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
4

frekar góð

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Three absolute Declan classics (one of which is a cover and apparently not on the UK version of the album) sprinkled around some lesser known tracks that have never done much for me. The title and cover really turn me off for whatever reason. I guess I just don't care for elephants storming towards me. Just a notch below his first two albums.

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

Great album by one of my favorite artists.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

I get the hate for Elvis Costello on this list, but Armed Forces is a tour deForce that definitely belongs and is a must listen. This 1979 near-masterpiece is a sonic balance of punk, post-punk and the oncoming 80s pop sound. Of course Nick Lowe's production does the heavy lifting here. 4/5.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

Smude saker. klassiker. Har hørt mye på denne tidligere også. Klar favoritt er olivers army, men det andre er også lyttbart. Egnede Bruksområder: Meget bra som bakgrunn på hytta eller når man arbeider på et kontor.

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Tue May 03 2022
4

Don't think I'd heard anything by Elvis Costello before. v enjoyable

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Mon May 09 2022
4

Better than expected for not proper Elvis

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Thu May 12 2022
4

Putting the Honky in Honky Tonk.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
4

Listened to on 6/26/22 4/5 Favorite song: Oliver’s Army, Green Shirt Elvis Costello continues to be a bop and I liked the military theme of the album

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Sun Jul 24 2022
4

Original and excellent throughout. "Party Girl" and "Accidents Wil Happen" are career highlights but every track has considerable merit.

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Mon Aug 01 2022
4

Yup, pretty captivating pop rock, generally quite a fun listen. Fave track - "Oliver's Army" is an awesome tune, but I think "Accidents Will Happen" beats it to the title!

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Tue Aug 02 2022
4

Classic Elvis Costello. Great album. 4 stars.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
4

One of Costello's greatest albums.

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

Oliver's Army is a top top tune. Enjoyed the album

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Tue Aug 16 2022
4

I had and disliked Brutal Youth early on. This is something different, and stands up well despite some questionable language from my costello at times...Pretty great album

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Really enjoyable listen, great individual songs and also flows so well as a whole. Fav song: Busy Bodies

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

Really liked this album a lot. Good variety between the tracks. Favorite track: Moods for Moderns

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Tue Aug 30 2022
4

New wave, 1979. The songs on this record are quite impressive in every aspect and the tracklist absolutely on point. Also every song is relevant on the whole LP so there aren't fillers. This is arguably one of the most mature and most complete projects by Costello and in conclusion one of his greatest albums.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

Peace Love Understanding

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

It was nice to listen to this again as the last time i listened all the way through was back in college. This used to get a lot of spins back in the day and I was surprised how many of the lyrics I still remember. Having said that, I've never loved this one as much as This Year's Model or Get Happy. The hits are still great and I really dug Green Shirt and the last three songs. But I found the other tunes a little boring, and in general, the arrangements aren't quite as thrilling as those other two albums. The Attractions are an amazing band, but their talents are pushed to the background on this one, which isn't always a bad thing, but I missed the energy they brought to those other two albums. Hard to know how to rate something like this one. Do I give it 3 stars as an EC album or 4 stars compared to some of these other records? I guess I'll go 4.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
4

I've always admired Costello's craft as a songwriter. His arrangements are often unconventional, his gift for creating vocal and instrumental melodies is exceptional, and he's got an edge to his lyrics that gets your attention, even if I don't always know what he's getting at. I've never listened to this album in its entirety, though I was familiar with a lot of it. I didn't love every song, "Senior Service" as the second track seemed like a misstep after the haunting last minute of "Accidents Will Happen," but this is a really strong album. Despite Costello's range as a vocalist and gift for melody, he does have a vocal tone that tends to wear on me after 30 minutes or so, but that didn't detract from my enjoying this album (more than once) today.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

good

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

I was surprised at how much I liked this. Never liked his voice, but his craft at songwriting makes up for it the more you listen

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Sun Sep 18 2022
4

This album is full of musical texture and political themes. While easily discounted as the musical musings of an angry, young man, the album’s songs are actually quite prescient, sharp, funny, and compelling. Standout songs are Accidents Will Happen and Busy Bodies.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

This is probably one of Elvis Costello's more accessible albums. Released a year after 'This Year's Model,' this album sees Costello playing a more pop like New Wave that features a more complex chord structure and better developed melodies. At points, the music is almost anthemic in what sounds like a precursor to Britpop. Costello's lyrics are more politically charged but are less angry than his previous two releases. As always, Costello is a wordsmith, and employs double entendre and wordplay.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Guess I hadn't listened to much Costello before. It was good but not what I expected. A little heavier in the rock side that what my perception of Costello was

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

Maybe there's a tad too many albums by Declan on here? I count seven. There's some good tracks but does he straddle so many genres to qualify? I remember this one and liked the hits. He seemed to define intelligent New Wave cool that I was a bit too young to understand.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
4

Really fun album. A classic, full of witty lyrics, nothing that hasn't been said before really.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

Musically, I was into this. I could even dig Costello's voice at times, which is an accomplishment! But lyrically? Eh...throwing around slurs has not been, is not, and will never be, cool.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

this dude has a truly gargantuan career. he's seriously been making tunes since the 60s, and released a single as recently as last year. good album, fun rock n roll. probably won't come back to it

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Tue Oct 25 2022
4

Original and groovy

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

not bad at all

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

New wave. Me estoy dando cuenta de que me gusta Elvis Costello. Un 4.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
4

A vintage release from a top-class artist, this speaks to his considerable strengths, starting with his sheer originality. Throughout all the various reinvention attempts (both subtle and bold), one always knows it’s him. That can lead to a little sameness but the quality of tracks and professionalism of craft are uniformly high, here as on other records. "Party Girl" is a personal fave. "What's So Funny" a reminder of Nick Lowe's glaring and egregious omission from this esteemed index.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

It has become quite a meme this fact that Costello has so many entries in these books. But I try to not let that colour my views on this particular album. What strikes me most is the consistency of the song writing.

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Tue Nov 15 2022
4

Great feel good music

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

Really nice and enjoyable album. Would definitely listen again. Was very thrown off when he said the n word though

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Fri Nov 18 2022
4

Sort of enjoyable but wasn’t super into it

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

I like this pretty well, and already knew some of the songs. Interesting backstory on this that I wasn't aware of.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

24th November 2022 Listened in the morning while working from home. F45 and ru Paul final in the evening. Loved it, political songwriting that doesn’t shove it in your face. Amazing musician.

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Fri Sep 11 2020
3

a fun listen but wouldn't miss it if i never heard it again

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Fri Oct 16 2020
3

Fun listen. Love the album art

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Thu Nov 12 2020
3

He sounds like a frog, but fun jams.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
3

Hauska levy. Pitänee joskus kuunnella enemmänkin.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
3

One of those records I heard as a kid that still sends me back. Pretty solid grouping of songs

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Mon Mar 15 2021
3

very light and boppy, band sound is catchy even if lyrics aren't

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Wed Mar 17 2021
3

More upbeat British rock. Elvis Costello's voice kind of annoys me.

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Wed Mar 03 2021
3

Solid

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

Best wel fijn album, prima prima

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Fri Mar 19 2021
3

he's the Ben Folds of the 70s so I dig it

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Wed Jul 07 2021
3

peace love and understanding! oliver's army! and...honestly, not much else really leapt out at me, which is weird.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
3

Correct, genre de pop rock. Les tounes sont bien produites et la musique est bonne mais on dirait qu’il manque quekque chose. Peut etre pas mon style.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
3

I like a lot of EC's hits, but all of EC's music sounds identical to me. It's good, peppy, 60s style rock with a more modern sound. But it's so generic. I want to like it more than I do. Also, pretty sure Elvis drops the N bomb on one of these songs. That ain't great!

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

I guess this is a bit of a let down after Elvis' simply brilliant debut album - My aim is true. The songs are pleasant enough but don't have the same bite, so this is only a 3 from me.

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Thu May 13 2021
3

I'm not a big fan of post-punk, but this was a good discovery

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Sat Jan 23 2021
3

generic pop rock. probably wouldn't seek out but listened whole thing in 1 sitting

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Sun Feb 07 2021
3

nice songs with a nice range of instruments in the backing but for some reason the voice just didnt sit right with me and not 100% enjoyable

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Thu Feb 25 2021
3

Mr. Costello didn't quite click with me on his last album "This Year's Model", but I've found myself enjoying this one! Pretty straight-forward new-wave pop rock stuff; nothing revolutionary, but still a light and fun listenin- wait, did he just drop the n-word with a hard r in Oliver's Army? Oh my god he did. What the fuck?

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

I enjoyed this. I like Elvis but never had many of his vinyl. I know there are some tunes of his I like more so will vote in the middle on this one.

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Sat May 29 2021
3

Se escucha bien y suena fresco, a pesar de ser hijo de su tiempo, sobresaliendo por encima de todo los arreglos pop que, a mí parecer, le quitan la suciedad al disco que lo hubiera hecho genial. Luminoso y cumplidor pero se queda a las puertas.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
3

I think it's 30 years since I last listened to it. It doesn't really stand the test of time for me.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
3

It was fine. Not crazy about the lyrics.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

I liked Elvis Costello in high school and college, and saw him in concert a couple times. Real fun pop with a twist, and he's a solid entertainer. It was nice to revisit and listen to this album again. I don't plan to start listening to his music again--the songs are a little too similar to each other for my taste--but I understand the appeal.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
3

Extra star for Olivers Army, but all a bit meh

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

To be honest his singing style starts to bug me very quickly. All I can think about is SNL's "The Californians," even though he is English.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
3

Too clever - not half pop pickers. It has been many years since I last listened to this album. Feisty when I bought it; it's Elvis!, but just OK now.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
3

Un disco che non mi ha entusiasmato ma neanche schifato. L'ho trovato un pò monocorde.

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Fri May 14 2021
3

Much poppy-er then I was expecting. I feel like I'd need to listen this a dozen times to actually wrap my head around it. I think some context is needed as to why this is a "must listen to" album

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Mon Jun 21 2021
3

Had never listened to Elvis Costello before, but found him to be very listenable. But...not very exciting. Just middle of the road. Moods for Moderns was my favorite though.

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Fri May 07 2021
3

Sound was good, not a fan of Costellos voice though

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Tue Jun 22 2021
3

Pros: Anche se a tratti sento quelle sfumature fine anni '70, quest'album potrebbe quasi essere spacciato per uno indie-rock moderno. Tecnicamente suonato molto bene. La produzione originale non è nemmeno niente male. Cons: Faccio fatica ad assorbire le canzoni, come se non mi entrassero in testa. Trovo l'album un po' ripetitivo e ho l'impressione che a volte abbia messo troppa carne al fuoco. E poi, scusa Elvis Costello, a un certo punto la tua voce mi ha scocciato. Conclusione: sono combattuto. Non so se premiare per la lungimiranza, l'evidente duro lavoro e l'intuito indie-rock o penalizzare per il fatto che questi 39 minuti sono sembrati 2 ore. Voto con un 3 di cui non sono sicuro.

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Thu Jun 10 2021
3

xd?

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Mon Jun 07 2021
3

Kind of has a pop rock tone to it with an old school vibe.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
3

Great melodic sensibility on this album. I particularly like the chord changes in the opening track.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
3

One big hit

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Sat Aug 07 2021
3

Might grow on me with time. Needs a few more listens maybe.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
3

Nice enough album, not sure if I like it or not. But it is promising to grow on me.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
3

Yep, songwriting chops are evident. Something about the sound just winds ms up a bit. Not quite the tempo I’m running in today.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
3

Gotta be in a certain mood to enjoy but I was in that mood so…

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Wed Sep 01 2021
3

Anti-disco in the throughs of the disco era. A rocker when the money was going to others. Not the hero we needed. The hero we deserved

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Sat Sep 25 2021
3

Why are there so many Elvis Costello albums on this list? He’s good at best but never great. Some good songs on this one but nothing that blew me away

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Sat Oct 02 2021
3

Heard before. I like EC, but even though this is one of the “biggies”, it doesn’t land as well as some of the others, either the slightly punkier early ones or the more expansive later ones. Still enjoyed it.

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Sun Oct 03 2021
3

Очень нормально

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Wed Oct 06 2021
3

Production-wise very polished. However I really am not into the vocals, which is likely a huge draw for fans of Elvis Costello. I will say it does not sound like 79, it sounds late 90s/early 2000s to me. I can see why people would like it. Kind of reminds me of Prince for some reason. I checked out the music video for Oliver's Army and for some reason watching him makes me like it more, probably cause he has a such a nerdy look that it feels a bit more fun. I could see if I listened to his whole catalog I'd get more into it and go higher, but for now I think 3 is fair.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
3

I don't like some of the things I've heard about Elvis Costello as a person, but this is a good album. 3.5, almost 4, but not quite pulling the trigger on that high of a rating yet.

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Wed Oct 20 2021
3

Fairly indifferent about this one, neither great nor bad, just bang average

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Fri Oct 29 2021
3

It's alright. Not my favorite album but its decent. Dudes supposed to be woke, but throws around the n-word? one of those weird things that show times have changed for the better. Outside of that it's alright.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
3

Het algoritme probeert ons te bekeren tot Elvis Costello. Ik heb een zwak voor het laatste nummer, verder kon ik deze plaat beter hebben dan die van gisteren. Over het algemeen vind ik Elvis Costello prima te hebben maar soms gaat die stem me ineens tegenstaan.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
3

Half geluisterd, best aardig, maar toch niet echt voor mij.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
3

Not a big Elvis Costello fan, but got further in this album than other previous listening attempts. Just can't get past his nasal delivery, and his song writing seems to come more from the head than the soul.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
3

Not my cup of tea. Loved the piano on some of the tracks. Poppy yet niche. A fun album.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
3

eerste is wack, latere zijn beter

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Tue Nov 16 2021
3

Good album didn't love it but was easy to listen to

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Wed Dec 08 2021
3

A rockstar that has lots of songs (that sounds) the same.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
3

The third Elvis Costello album we got and another 3 stars from me. Unlike the other two, Spotify has a remastered version of this one. That helps a lot, considering my main criticism of the other two was horrible production. Most songs on here were decent (and with very good vocals) but unremarkable. Sunday's Best and Moods For Moderns stood out as being annoying, but that's cancelled out by (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding being a five-star song.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
3

Okay

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

First of all, the album cover is EPIC as all hell. It doesn’t open very epic though as the first song “Accidents Will Happen” is kind of a throwaway. “senior Service” is a bit more danceable and then you get the epic feel finally on track three with “Oliver’s Army”. Fave tracks: “Goon Squad” “Green Shirt” “Oliver’s Army”

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Thu Dec 16 2021
3

Familiar in places and fun, but not one I'll go back to

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Wed Dec 22 2021
3

Pop. No está mal

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Fri Dec 24 2021
3

Elvis Costello is known. His compositions are quite good.

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Fri Dec 24 2021
3

I'm not super familiar with this particular Costello album, I mostly know it as the one with (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding and that song where Costello drops the N bomb. It's pretty good. I would call it mid-tier Costello. A little too smooth to be the top of the barrel for his early work, but it's got some serious highlights.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
3

promises fun! 3. not my favorite e costello, but great, high energy music overall.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
3

Not exactly my cup of tea

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Wed Jan 12 2022
3

nondescript

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