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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Armed Forces

Elvis Costello & The Attractions

1979

Wikipedia

Armed

Reviews

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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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3

Good album, unexpected slur

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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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5

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

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5

I liked this pretty well actually.

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5

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

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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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5

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5

On some days this is my favorite Elvis Costello album.

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5

Just need to say that this album sounds so clean.

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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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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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5

Great album, classic

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5

Bongo

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5

You can’t go wrong with early Elvis.

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5

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

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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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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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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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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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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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4

Really good!

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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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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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4

Lots of good songs on there

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4

Pretty good!

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4

rock sympa precurseur

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4

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

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4

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

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4

Klingt find ich nach ruhigen The Cure

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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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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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4

Quite good, I liked it!

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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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4

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

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4

Pretty good!

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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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4

Never listened to the whole album before. Liked it.

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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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4

Nice album

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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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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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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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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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4

I had a joke for this I think but I forgot

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4

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

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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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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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4

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

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4

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

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4

141021 18:03 4

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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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4

Enjoyable music. 0RS

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4

Enjoyable, hip album

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4

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

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4

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

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4

Yeah prettyvsolid stuff

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4

It was good!

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4

Had a Lenny Kravitz or Prince kinda vibe.

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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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4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs: Hanging tree,

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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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4

Good and solid

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4

4/5. Elvis Costello can make a banger sometimes

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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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3

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

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3

Fun listen. Love the album art

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3

He sounds like a frog, but fun jams.

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3

Hauska levy. Pitänee joskus kuunnella enemmänkin.

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3

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

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3

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

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3

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

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3

Solid

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3

Best wel fijn album, prima prima

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3

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

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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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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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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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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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3

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

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3

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

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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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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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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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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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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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3

It was fine. Not crazy about the lyrics.

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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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3

Extra star for Olivers Army, but all a bit meh

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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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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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3

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

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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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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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3

Sound was good, not a fan of Costellos voice though

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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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3

xd?

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3

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

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3

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

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3

One big hit

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3

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

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3

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

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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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3

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

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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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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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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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3

Очень нормально

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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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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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3

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

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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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3

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

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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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3

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

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3

eerste is wack, latere zijn beter

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3

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

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3

Yet another Elvia Costello album. Find him incredibly beige!

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3

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

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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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3

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

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3

Pop. No está mal

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3

Elvis Costello is known. His compositions are quite good.

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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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3

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

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3

Not exactly my cup of tea

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3

nondescript

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2

n word again !!??

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2

I've heard a bit of this guy but not sure if this album. Wiki describes it as new wave/post punk (ew) but the first song isn't. aaaaand never mind, by the second song it's the same old. The entire album isn't new wave, most of it is just rock really, but it is pretty boring. Went nowhere. 2/5.

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2

2

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2

Nope

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2

Taustahälinää

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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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2

2.5

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2

Meh.

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2

Wow I hate this! Expected to be a fan but... nope. Whiny and unmemorable,and what's with all the nursery, stalkery, and racist lyrics?

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2

Meh not really into Elvis Costello

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2

Not really for me

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2

Meh

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2

Most Elvis Costello albums are just fine. This is the same. It's not terrible, but man, there is nothing special about it. I feel like a lot of these albums are just chosen because of ONE song, and this album feels like the perfect example of that. No song is really amazing, except for the closer (Peace, Love and Understanding). I also choked on my beer when he dropped the N Bomb.

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2

- annoying voice

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2

Never liked that guitar and piano song writer structure and heard Olivers Army way too much over the years

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2

Didn’t listen.Elvis just isn't for me.

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2

Dropped the N word in one of their songs but also just not very good. Like one up beat cool song

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2

Lots of 'too clever by half' but still brilliant lyrics, ridiculously affected but still pleasing vocal style, perfectly delivered but mostly unsatisfying and echoingly repetitive tunes/themes (big boys/good year for the roses, party girl/alison etc), oh yes and the coda to party girls is unforgivably stolen directly from Abbey Road's: \"1234567, all good children go to heaven...\" so overall I ended up just thinking, \"it's sort of good, but not for me, thanks. It's all a bit samey in a different sort of way. I would have stopped listening after 2 or 3 tracks but I didn't want to miss out on something good, but in the end there wasn't anything - except the singles, and the best song was written by Nick Lowe.

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2

Album Song Ranking: Accidents Will Happen Moods For Moderns Goon Squad Big Boys Party Girl (H.M.) Two Little Hitlers Chemistry Class Busy Bodies Senior Service Green Shirt Sunday's Best (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding Oliver's Army

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2

In conclusione: Me lo sono sentito due volte perchè sto album non lo capisco. Sulla carta sembra fatto bene (tralasciando la produzione e il remaster che lasci a deiderare), gli arrangiamenti so curati, i pezzi so diversi, però dopo due ascolti non m'è rimasto nulla. Costello c'ha il problema di Patton su sto disco di essere na mezza macchietta nel modo in cui canta e rende tutto na mezza pagliacciata e anche se musicalmente sembra ben costruito alla fine te scivola addosso. Peccato, per me è un 2.5.

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2

D'album en album, Elvis Costello nous prouve qu'il est un proche de l'auteur du classement des 1001. Six de ses projets y figurent, contre aucun de Céline Dion ; pas besoin d'en rajouter. Armed Forces aurait certainement mérité trois étoiles, mais j'ai décidé d'en retirer une en raison des propos maladroits qu'il a tenus envers l'introverti Ray Charles. Replaçons les faits dans leur contexte : Nous sommes en 1978, Elvis Costello cartonne sous son surnom de King of Rock and Roll tandis que Ray Charles est depuis plusieurs années paralysé par sa timidité. Un soir où Elvis apparaît un peu éméché, il lance à ses amis la réflexion suivante: "Ray Charles est tellement timide qu'il y a un décalage horaire entre ses deux fesses." Manque de pot pour Costello, Céline Dion se trouve quelques tables plus loin et ne se fera pas prier pour tout répéter à la presse. J'ai beaucoup aimé les éléphants de la pochette.

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2

If only he’d have someone else sing. Just shy of a 3.

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2

Forgettable, did not hold my interest.

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2

A bit bland tbh, nothing really stood out as particularly memorable and it all just kind of merged into one lump.

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2

It's very average, and I don't see myself listening to it again. It's more enjoyable than This Year's Model, but I really don't care for his voice at all. Highlights: 1, and 3.

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2

De eerste paar nummers hadden me niet meteen mee. Het middenstuk was wel oké, maar naar het einde toe had ik het ook wel wat gehad

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2

Imdb puani 5lik filmlerde calmalik birkac tatlis sarki var ama benim icin bile cok miy miy bir album, 2,5/5

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2

Not as good as My Aim is True so probably wouldn't listen again

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2

middelmådig rock

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2

Never been sure about Elvis Costello. His voice gets on my nerves. This wasn't a bad album and had some good bits but just didn't get me going.

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2

First Listen. I know a couple of the songs. The rest of the album seems solid. 2/5

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2

This was just not my thing. I didn’t care about any of these songs.

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2

Eh

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2

Du hast Ironie erfunden du wacker Nerd, gib mir dein Pausenbrot

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2

I concluded several albums ago that Costello's success is lost on me. This follows the trend

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2

Can never really warm up to Elvis costello but at the same time can feel some brilliance in rhythms and Melodies pop out of most songs. This album also isn’t the most accessible

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2

Pretty much like any other Elvis Costello that I have listened to. Solid but not amazing. 2.5/5 PS I do like the UK artwork FAR more than the US version.

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1

meh

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1

Listening to this scarred me. Of all the voices that got fame...

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1

Some of this album is fine. However, that's speaking strictly about the music in the background, which is alright in its own right. The main grievance is that the singer's voice is unbearable all the time, and it's the main focus in the majority of songs on this album. It sounds like he's trying too hard to sing or that he's plugging his nose. It's out of place most of the time.

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1

did not enjoy it a bit. lame from beggining to end

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1

Not for me. I've never really understood the appeal.

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1

ırkçı abilere tahammül yok

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1

My god that was a slog, just really annoying. Couldn't wait for it to be done. I've never liked Elvis Costello, mainly the voice. Irritating music.

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1

Don’t like his voice, don’t enjoy his music

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Surprised by how modern the album sounds. Sounds like a 90s pop-rock album, but it's from '79. I enjoy the song "Party Girl"

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