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

Brutal Youth

Elvis Costello

1994

Wikipedia

Brutal Youth

Rating

2.91

Votes

3314

Reviews

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2

Everything about Elvis Costello, from the name to the glasses to the sneer in his voice to the nonsensical pop culture references, is aped from another artist in a cynical attempt to separate Boomers from their nostalgia dollars. He's Springsteen for people who bristle at the thought of even pretending that they're working class. That may not be fair to him, but he was just unfair to my ears for an hour, so we can call it even. This album feels like it was specifically engineered to be bland and unremarkable, and contemporary reviews were middling. Why is it on the list? Best track: Kinder Murder

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1

80 albums in, reluctantly my first 1 star… but it was so boring and bland, at least musically, and the lyrics also didn’t do anything for me.

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4

I've never really been much of a fan of Elvis Costello. I generally find his tracks to be bubble-gum, pop-sugar imitations of punk songs. The opening track, "Pony Street" did nothing to change that impression. Things picked up with the second track, though. "Kinder Murder" is fun and approachable while keeping with a more punk lyrical ethos. That carries through the remainder of the album. While some of the tracks are definitely dated and haven't necessarily aged well, the guitar tones on this entire album are outstanding, the engineering/mixing is impeccable, and the lyrics are generally compelling and thought-provoking, at times reminiscent of The Beatles and, at other times, bringing to mind classic funk/soul masters like James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this album.

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4

I enjoyed the slightly slower pace of this album because I think he stood out more as a songwriter and the music varied more between songs. Another 8

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4

Idk what the fuck I thought Elvis Costello sounded like but I was very wrong. Enjoyed

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4

Elvis is the man! My only knock is Elvis’s vocals are so distinct that you instantly know it’s him as soon as you hear it. On this album, he didn’t vary up his vocal styles enough and towards the end it dragged a little. Definitely excited to check out some of his earlier work with The Attractions now though.

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4

An interesting mix of genres and styles here. I really haven't given Elvis Costello as much of a chance as I should've. This album is fun and consistently upbeat even when it gets a bit more edge on some songs.

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4

Every song on this album sounds like it should be the soundtrack underneath a montage of a complicated character in an indie film walking through the streets of their city at night as dawn breaks while figuring out their purpose/finding peace.

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2

Meh.

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2

Although this album is pretty inoffensive, nothing much on it grabbed me.

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2

Uncommon upbeat album in 90s Costello discography. Still boring though

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5

Really really really good.

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5

Sheeeee

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5

The only Elvis that matters

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5

cool

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5

Loved every minute of it

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5

Fucking awesome!

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4

3,5/5

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4

I love me some Elvis!

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4

Great!

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4

Сойдёт

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4

Pretty good, that guy does know what he's doing, just didn't like it that much. Favorite song probably was 20% amnesia

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4

Really good album that I've never listened to start to finish.

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4

I should listen to the lyrics. I do like it though.

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4

Next tier EC.

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4

I want to compare this to other Elvis Costello albums, and it's far from my favorite. But it's a great album overall.

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4

8/10, pretty enjoyable, another good Elvis Costello album

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4

lots of really weird but funny songs on here. fun listen but i found it a little long. 8/10

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4

Pretty good, will definitely revisit Elvis Costello. I had heard a few albums when I was in middle school, but hadn't listened to it since. I can tell he was influence for a lot of other bands I've heard, namely Wilco.

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4

une excellence prestation de Gerard de Palmas

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4

Liked this a lot better than the last one, songs were catchy

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4

overall thoughts: woww i enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was gonna. really like his voice. would definitely have to give another listen for the lyrics. sounded like it was good writing. not sure how to describe the genre, like a rock, pop type vibe. not 1 bad song on here, tho a couple of tracks I'd have to relisten. 4/5. fave tracks: my science fic twin, pony st, kinder murder, 13 steps lead down, 20% amnesia, sulky girl, all the rage, favorite hour

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4

I like me some Elvis Costello. It's weird and eclectic in a way that works for me as opposed to weird and off-putting.

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4

Good album. I really liked This is Hell. I enjoy Elvis Costello, but his voice gets a little annoying to me after a whole album.

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4

Favs: This Is Hell, You Tripped At Every Step Mehs: Pony St. Always enjoyed Elvis Costello. I think his voice works better on slow, coffeehouse stuff. When the songs get fast and tinkle-y, like "Pony St.," his voice grates on me. But some of his stuff like "This Is Hell" and "Everyday I Write the Book" (not on this album, but my favorite) is excellent.

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4

Didnt expect to enjoy this as much as I did.

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4

Quite liked this.

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4

I liked it. I'm a Costello fan.

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4

Pleasantly surprised

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4

Bursting out with all the classic Costello trademarks- pounding drums, lyrical piano flourishes (always a suggestion of Abba in there), Bruce Thomas octave flourishes on the bass (on some tracks - on the rest it is either Nick Lowe or Elvis himself stepping through the smoke. pink Precision at the ready, saying "Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Bruce Thomas out the Attractions"). As always with Elvis, he spits out lyrics packed with tension, about women who are out of reach, of frustration and exclusion, and adds McCartney-esque flourishes to sweeten the rage. Clever-clever, as always "but its by Julie Andrew not by John Coltrane" - you need to join the dots yourself to get "My Favourite Things". Often the protagonists in the songs have a misogynistic outlook similar to the Stones on Aftermath. "Sulky Girl" - "You're talking like a Duchess but you're still a waitress". Great lyrical specificity, such as the use of Hungerford Bridge in London's Brilliant Parade. I think my issue with Elvis is that he had made quite a lot of quite good albums, which can end up sounding much of a muchness - that's probably on me rather than on him! 4 stars

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4

Liked it!

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4

I think Elvis Costello is great, and this is a really strong album. My only minor complaint is sometimes his songs veer into maudlin, Broadway musical sounding affairs, but mostly it's great. 4 stars.

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4

The album didn’t grab me at first. However, once it got going I began to enjoy it more. Elvis Costello’s mix of rock, pop, punk, and a bit of jazz makes his music stand out. His use of melody is very interesting and he is clearly not afraid to genre hop. There is some filler on this album, but when it’s good, it’s really good

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4

Good stuff!!!! Costello’s songwriting is proven here. Amazing melodies and song structure. The execution instrumentally was also top notch. The Attractions are tight as hell. The sounds weren’t great though :( Costello was way to far up front. I couldn’t hear super precisely what the rest of the band was doing. I got used to it pretty quick so it wasn’t distracting past the first few songs. It’s still a shame though because the instrumentals were clearly great. I wish I could really focus on them. I do really enjoy Costello’s voice but his accent is THICK on this one. With the vocals so far front in the mix, I’d like to at least sing along to the words. With his enunciation (or lack there of) I wasn’t sure what he was saying a good chunk of the time. That might just be a me thing, though. I’m sure his lyrics were good, too. Make me listen to them, or don’t. Don’t make me swim up stream. Either way, I didn’t feel like the album dragged at all (UNLIKE LEILA APPARENTLY). Everything felt appropriate and worth while. Only complaint is the mixing and some of the sonics.

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4

Straight forward rock record. In typical Elvis Costello fashion the songs are sarcastic, bitter, vitriolic, and with just a little bit of regret thrown in. Costello once said something like he only knew two emotions, anger and embarrassment. His songs can be so specific but relatable.

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4

This is the best of the many Elvia Costello albums I’ve heard on here so far. No hits, just great songwriting!

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4

I've not seen much reason to go out of my way to listen to Elvis Costello in the past but this one hit me just right today with its fun tunes and cheeky lyrics. I had a great time and want to keep it around.

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4

Great easy listening album. Has a unique voice with an alternative sound. I like all the sounds created in the album. The pony street is awesome.

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4

Elvis Costello nearly always works for me. I've never actually listened to this one before though, as I don't usually go past the 80's with him. This sounds like a nice return to form. His best work is always with The Attractions.

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4

I listened to this one twice in a row. I've always been a fan of Costello's early stuff but hadn't heard much of anything beyond the 80s. These are really strong, am I crazy? I'm surprised I've never heard a single one of these. This is Hell was a real stand out for me. I like it.

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4

I consider myself an Elvis Costello fan, however I started to lose interest around the time of Imperial Bedroom and King of America. I came back for Blood and Chocolate which I thought was very good. The rest of the post Get Happy was either ignored or disliked. This album was ignored and it shouldn't have been. From the opening song I could see Elvis was ready to rock. I started to wonder...did he bring back the Attractions? Then the 3rd song starts; 13 Steps and that unmistakable organ sound of Steve Nieve. Yes The Attractions are back! Lots of strong songs with the unmistakable EC wit in the lyrics. Particularly strong is Sulky Girl. I'm glad I found this album. Not sure it belongs on this list but it does belong in my collection. 4 🌟

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3

Elvis Costello! man he is the better Elvis. That being said, this is not one of my fav alums of his, like his new wave stuff better

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3

7/10

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3

This was not bad, but didn't live up to my previous expectations of Elvis.

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3

A bit weird

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3

Connor: - really cool mix of groovy rock with unusual rhythms playing against each other - I really liked the choice of instruments in each song, which seems like a weird thing to point out, but they add piano/keyboard and different types of drums in various songs and it always works well, the instrumentals are great - but Costello's voice is quite limited and he tries to do too much with it

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3

Enjoyable. Vocals on the first track were way too loud

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3

Ei ihan yhtä räväkkää menoa kuin listalla aiemmin vastaan tullut herran varhaisempi levytys. Kuitenkin silti ihan toimivaa setämiesrokkailua. Erityisesti This Is Hell jäi mieleen.

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3

6

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3

Popcito mono, bien hecho, agradable de oír y con letras ingeniosas pero con todo y todo un poco olvidable. Es muy obvia la influencia que tiene Costello en el britpop que vino unos años después y que hoy todavía suena en muchas bandas que me gustan. Quizá me animaría a darle más puntos si conociera más discos de él.

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3

3.5| Verga con éste disco, siempre pensé que Elvis Costello era para tías viejitas pero la verdad es que es brutal o por lo menos para mí así lo fue ya que tenía una idea diferente, tal vez me sorprenda más con discos anteriores.

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3

Estoy seguro de que nunca había escuchado nada de este disco (y probablemente nada de Elvis Costello), sin embargo su música suena inusualmente familiar. Aunque el disco es agradable, se me hizo como muy genérico. Sólo me llamaron Kinder Murder y 13 Steps Down, que suena a intro de Sitcom.

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3

At first listen, if youre not familiar with the sound of Elvis Costello like I was, you may get hung up on his almost abrassive voice. If given a chance, you'll quickly find something to love in his simple yet at times complex music. The lyrics to most songs are just about as literal as you can get. Many songs paint an exact picture of events or stories, yet Costello always has a way to make even something like a Clown Strike seem universal.

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3

Today I listened to an Elvis Costello album from 1994, called Brutal Youth. I've been tangentially aware of Elvis Costello since I was a young kid. The more I learned about music, the more I heard about his large influence on new wave and punk. I've not really spent much time with older albums that cemented his status, they were never very accessible to me when I would jump in. Maybe something with his voice? OR I can't understand anything he is saying. I do enjoy this album, it has lots of hooks and melodies that have grabbed me. It makes me want to do more and give all his albums a listen.

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3

liked a lot of it, but some if the slower songs just were snooze fest.

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3

Yeah. Ok. Yeah.

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3

Elvis Costello sure is cool. But this alb is just middling. Nothing too great here, there's a lot of fun. It's jaunty, but there's too many weird ballads. I wish the attractions were here.

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3

It was ok. Some fine songs, but overall just… ok. Favorite tracks: “13 Steps Lead Down,” “You Tripped At Every Step,” and “Favorite Hour”

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3

Elvis Costello is one of those artists that I have a hard time getting into or understanding what the big deal is. I will say that this album had a few songs I could see myself liking after a few listens but I'm still not really sure what the big deal is.

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3

Beim ersten Hören solala, hat aber Potential #listenagain

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3

I didn't like it too much, but it is an ok album.

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3

So, Sue & I used to watch the show "Spectacle Elvis Costello with:" He had great (aging) guests who would sing a song or two, they’d do a duet, then the part that we’d have to brace ourselves for was Elvis’ two solo songs of the night. In one of them we knew he’d use his “rock n’ roll voice”, which was well past it’s prime. He seems past his prime here too. For comparison purposes, I went back to his sixth album, Imperial Bedroom (1982), which had a similar vibe & I remember liking. The overall sound on this release is comparatively raw, notalways bad but not a good thing here since the song-writing isn’t as strong and his voice is stretched in places. The 1982 production was lush and creative. Compared to Imperial Bedroom, this sounds like a demo tape. He’s still a great lyricist though and after 3 listens there's a few songs I'll playlist.

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3

Still not a huge elvis costello fan. It was okay. 6

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3

I always want to enjoy Elvis Costello albums more than I think I will. And then I always do in spite of my own overthinking it.

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3

It was alright. 0RS

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3

I like the diversity of sound Elvis packs into his albums, all remaining in the sort of pop rock world but having a good number of feels throughout. This album was alright, but not enough songs to really bring me back again

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3

.

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3

Weird to hear a mid nineties Elvis C album. w a voice like his it's hard for the sound to change too much. Not sure why the pause but it's solid EC

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3

ehh.

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3

3/5 some interesting tracks in there, but not so much.

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3

Easy to listen to. Some words are unintelligible. Gets boring toward the end.

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3

false

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3

Was sceptical at first because it was not what I expected, but there were some really good lyrics, which I really connected to

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3

Not superior Costello, by any stretch, but there’s always enough variety, texture, idiosyncratic turns of phrase and weird vocal flexion in any of his songs to last the day, let alone his albums.

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3

Alt/independent rock. Piano, guitar, drums, solo and harmonized vocals, occasional brass. Clever lyrics and rhyming schemes.

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3

Typical Costello as far as I can tell. Not bad.

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3

I feel really neutral about this one lol

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3

Interesting 3? 3.2?

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3

good album...never heard of the guy before

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3

I found the album to be a little weird. I'm not quite sure I am a fan of his vocals, but it wasn't hard to listen to. The ending got a little slow, but over all it was enough to get me to explore his other music which I think speaks for itself.

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3

Vintage Elvis songs. Listening while traveling so I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the album

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3

Mixed feelings on this one... not memorable, i finished listening and didn't even remember half the songs. probably would never listen again but it wasn't terrible... it was just mediocre. 5/10

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3

Sometimes interesting and unpredictable musically, other times not so much. Sometimes his voice is annoying, other times perfectly expressive. Wasn’t my cup of tea but it wasn’t bad. Faves (not in order): This is Hell, Clown Strike, Still Too Soon to Know, London’s Brilliant Parade, Just About Glad

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3

EC vibrato fatigue.

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3

No había escuchado a Elvis Costello. No dudo que sea un genio, pero este disco se me hizo muy básico. Espero que otros que seguramente van a estar en el listado estén mejores.

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3

Rock

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3

Okeydoke

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3

Apparently there are 6 costello albums in this list. I like his style, I like his music, but...... is he responsible for 6 of the greatest albums of all time? no. obviously he isn't.

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3

More upbeat than the last album of his, less ballad-ey. Really enjoyable.

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3

I started off thinking it sounded like any other EC record, same sneery vocals, same mid-tempo mild rockers... Then it kinda got its hooks in me. Great musicianship in the band, and he's singing his lil nerdy white ass off.

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3

Not the biggest Elvis Costello fan, but this album was enjoyable. Not memorable at all to me, but still a decent listen. 3.5/5.

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3

I enjoyed it, didn't give it my full attention really as I was cooking and that but it was good to have on

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3

didn't grab me like I hoped...just okay.

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3

7/10

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3

2.8 - I want to like Costello more, but it’s hard to pull off. Tracks like “Sulky Girl” and “Just About Glad” are enjoyable and the lyrical wordplay is fun, but overall his music sounds repetitive and overly focused on his (still unique and quality) vocals. It too often feels just a bit too stilted for me to lose myself in - it’s a very top of mind type of music.

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3

again nondescript

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3

was ok, nothing wow though - had an expectation that lyrically I would be really impressed but not really

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3

So. Yesterday I had Elvis Costello. Today? Elvis Costello. When I went to the wiki page for this album I found out that this is one of SIX E.C. albums in the top 1001. ...?? SIX! Well screw it, at this point I expect - nay, want - the rest of the week to be Elvis Costello. (OK but really?) Look, I like Elvis Costello. Like. I don't quite get it though (meaning 6 albums?) and this isn't a fair review because now I'm creating some sort of meta-critique of how much he should or should not be represented in a subjective listing of the ~1k most important albums ever. He's not 6-worthy. Not sure anyone is to be fair. I can only assume this one is here because he reunited with his band The Attractions for the first time in nearly a decade. Cool? I mean, it's pretty decent - but I don't know if it's better (or worse) than his other few I'm familiar with. It's...Elvis Costello and if you're familiar with his old work it sounds like a slightly softer 90s version of his 70s material. Which yeah, nice enough. So. Overall, there are some good songs (personal faves: "13 Steps Lead Down" and "My Science Fiction Twin"), but the album is too long (EC was definitely an artist who benefitted from the pre-CD era of ~45minute max album lengths) by about 5 songs, it's not quite as punk/raw as 15 years prior but it's still a fun listen. Kind of an easy 6/10; straight 3 stars. A safe album, aka nothing explicitly bad but outside of a few choice cuts I probably wouldn't go out of my way for it. Then again maybe I've just had too much Elvis for one week...

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3

An enjoyable album.

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3

He's a little bland but at the same time, the music isn't too bad.

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3

Some cool tunes but not my favorite Elvis Costello album

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3

Foi me conquistando. Bom.

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3

Jazzy. But not too jazzy.

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3

Sounds like a 70s or 80s Elvis Costello album, not as weird or precious as feared. It's OK

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3

I've always reservations about Elvis Costello's music. Something in the way his songs are constructed have always impeded my desire to listen to them. I wonder how I'll get on listening to an entire album? The answer is I liked it ok. I didn't love it. I still don't connect with that rambling structure well. I feel like most songs are run-on sentences. Not something I hate, nor something I will seek out. Guess its a meh from me...

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3

It's Elvis Costello.

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3

Still can't get into Costello at all.

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3

Interesting! I'd never seen this featured in any list before and I am not sure if it's considered as a classic. First thing that struck me is the intricate vocal melodies Costello is capable of. Yes, I already knew, but for some reason this seems to be particularly stressed on this record. Second, whenever I play a Costello album most of the times I find myself thinking about Blur. In 1994, Elvis Costello reunites with the Attractions and kind of goes back to the more nervous sound of their beginnings. There is room though for delicacy (You Tripped At Every Step, This Is Hell with vocal harmonies and string arrangements in a very Beatles-y manner, London's Brilliant Parade) It's pretty much a long album and could probably use some trimming down, but the first half is strong enough to keep my attention from wandering. 

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3

Not as good as his earlier albums imo

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3

Top Red is Elvis.

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3

Reminds me of Cliff Richard's dick. Soft.

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2

I had another Elvis Costello album just two days ago. Not really keen on more so soon, but open mind! haha. Apparently SIX of his albums are in the book ffs. I guess it'll at least be interesting to hear what he was doing in the mid 90s. Ok, and the answer is a poppy version of like whatever the Lemonheads were doing, or soul asylum etc. Fancy that - new wave no longer in! 2/5 cause it goes too long.

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2

2.5. nondescript, listened to it while cleaning. don't see why it's on this list.

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2

Mostly boring - I just don't enjoy the dude's voice or the musical concepts he tries to employ.

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2

det här var inget vidare tycker jag. knepig röst och låtar som liksom inte ger en det där lilla extra i mellangården va.

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2

I can’t. His voice is so annoying I want to gouge out my eardrums.

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2

2.5 | Hubo un momento hace mucho a fines de los 90s en que me interesó conocer sobre Elvis Costello, lo que conocí me gustó mucho en su periodo inicial en los 70s, fue un punk y postpunk muy interesante con canciones que se sentían frescas, innovadoras y muy bien escritas. Desde esa época y hoy en día siento reafirmado creo que con el tiempo Costello se convirtió en un Jack of All Trades, Chambitas, Muchoabarca o como se le quiera llamar, incursionó en tantos géneros y formas que se comenzó a diluir y para está época siento ya se oía un poco genérico. No tiene nada malo el disco, las letras de hecho bastante buenas pero musicalmente no me llama, se oye como un rocksillo alternativo muy estándar que, para su supuesta habilidad, debiera ser bastante mejor. Un disco bastante medianon a mi sentir, decente como fondo musical pero alejadísimo de canciones como Radio Radio, Less Than Zero o Pump It Up que son muy muy brillantes. Supongo habrá mucho más de él en la lista pero esta selección, aunque no mala, deja mucho que desear para ser de él.

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2

No more!

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2

Not a bad album, but also not the kind of music I fully enjoy. Could let it playing in the background, perhaps.

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2

Not bad

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2

I am pretty sure that I do not like Elvis Costello

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2

Just can't really stand Costello's voice... tough listen for me. Some of the lyrics are quite good but that voice... ugh.

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2

EC did not really do it for me. His voice was annoying

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2

Se aiempi Elvis Costellon levy oli iloinen yllätys, mutta tämä levy oli paremmin ennakko-odotuksia vastaava ja se ei tässä tapauksessa ole hyvä asia. Kovasti on vauhti hiipunut ukolta vuosien varrella. Nuori Elvis pääsi alkukierrokselta jatkoon, mutta tällä suorituksella tie nousi pystyyn puolivälierissä.

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2

Teknisesti kivaa musisointia, mutta siihen jäi. Ehkä edellisen levyn jälkeen yllätysmomentti oli käytetty ja odotuksetkin oli nyt korkeammalla.

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2

So this is a weird one. It’s not terrible, I wouldn’t rush to turn it off if this album somehow popped up in my everyday listening. But having said that, I don’t feel the need to listen to it again. As such it’s getting a 2, though it would be more of a 1.5 if I had the ability to grade it that

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2

T

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2

Hope this rating doesn't offend anyone! This album didn't really do it for me, especially the artist's voice. Maybe not his best work.

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2

Mean man with oodles of talent rings out the dregs of it in what I guess is actually his mid-career seeing as he still putting out records. Results are music that's as ugly as some of the things he's said on the first half and occasionally exquisite on the second (London's Brillaint Parade, My Science Fiction Twin).

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2

Fine with a couple of good tunes, however feels pretty functional and way overlong at an hour. Maybe if I had a better sense of Costello's catalogue and it's place in it I may appreciate it more but seems a strange choice for this kind of list.

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2

I feel like there are some good songs here, but the production really stands in the way of them shining.

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2

Faltam CINCO desse cara??? Gostei de Clown Strike e Rocking Horse Road, só.

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2

Don’t like Levi’s Costello. But actually better than I expected

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2

Tråkigt

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I'm not a fan of Elvis' voice. It's too nasally and whiney.

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2

Nothing to special. By no means is it a bad album, but just not my thing and kinda generic

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instruments are good, some good songs, but his voice is not enjoyable

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Super forgettable considering his previous work

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The only thing brutal here was listening to this album all the way through. I generally find EC to be somewhere between "fine" and "good", but something about Brutal Youth was just absolutely unbearable. Why are all the good albums only 30 minutes and all the bad ones over an hour? He just kept GOING and GOING and WHINING and WHINGING. No thank you Elvis. I'll stick to Alison.

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2

is it just me or did this SUCK.

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2

wasn’t a fan :(

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An album of two halves. About half fairly standard MOR, whilst the other half is more experimental and varied. It makes it more interesting, but interrupts the flow. Might have been better as two separate albums? Overall, its pretty average. I didn't massively enjoy it. 2.5/5

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2

Not my favorite album of his. Still some decent tracks, but didn't hit as hard as This Year's Model

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2

I just can't get on with him.

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Not a lot of fun. Other Elvis albums are better

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I have tried and tried, but I just can't get into EC.

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2

No single track stuck out to me as better or worse than the others. So I guess that is saying something.

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2

Not particularly bad. Just pretty ordinary.

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2

more of the same Elvis Costello. Just doesn't do much for me. 2/5

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2

it dragged on a little.. his other album (from YESTERDAY) was much more exciting and good. this one was just slow and it seemed like it was trying to push it along but i didn’t love

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2

I know I should like costello but does absolutely nothing for me at all. 2

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2

I'm over him. All his songs sound the same. Was misled on the last album of his where I knew some hits.

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felt incredibly unimpressive. it was boring and dragged out. i found myself constantly wondering when the album would end. when i found i wasn’t even halfway through, i became upset. it’s not horrible, but it’s so ordinary. costello’s vocals at times are irritating. this album sounds like something a dad would play for you to assert musical superiority, even when in all reality the album is super mediocre.

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Genre: Pop Rock 2/5 This was a slog. Elvis Costello albums litter this book like rats in an alley. I got one 9 albums ago, and while that one was a bit more enjoyable than I had expected, this one was the most "57 minutes but felt like 4 hours" album I've listened to in a while. The music is competent, nothing is truly offensive here in terms of its lyrical content, but it's his voice. It sticks out like the sorest of thumbs, and, especially when harmonizing with himself, it ruins each track to a uniquely Elvis Costello degree. Just pop rock mush. Not essential.

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2

Elvis Costello is an artist that I always wondered if I was missing something about. I liked some of his singles, but I never got the big draw. This album didn’t help. I do think the music and instrumentation on this album are often catchy, fun, interesting. I even enjoy much (not all) of his vocals. But lyrically, it all misses me…and trying to focus on the lyrics makes it all worse. Maybe I’ll have a different experience on one of his other albums.

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2

"Well, good!" I thought. "Another opportunity to find love for a well-regarded artist I didn't enjoy 30 years ago." It's happened before. It didn't happen today. All I could feel was my 30-years-ago self switching off the alternative music radio station (that I tried so hard to like) when the crushing tedium of long, meandering tracks such as this got the best of me. So there's some clever lyrics here and there. It didn't make up for me counting down the 57 minutes through which I never connected to this music. All hope is not lost, however, because apparently I have five more of these opportunities with Mr. Costello coming up.

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2

no

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Really didn’t enjoy any of the tracks. The music and singing didn’t capture me at all.

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2

Not a fan of his vocals. Like some of the storytelling though.

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Not an Elvis Costello fan, can’t see what the fuss is. Also not looking forward to wading my way through 4-5 of his other albums on this list.

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Soe e não empolga como pop

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I know something of Elvis Costello but I think it's not my kind of music I heard.

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The fifteenth (out of currently 30) studio albums of Elvis Costello, and the sixth and most recent included in the 1001 Albums collection, Brutal Youth is almost Delphic in how incomprehensible it is for someone not already into Elvis Costello. Elvis Costello has never pinged on my radar, even though he came to prominence during an era I adore, late 70s punk, new wave and post-punk. Perhaps unfairly, I'd always just suspected Costello belonged with the new wave bandwagon-jumpers like Sting, stripping the music of its vitality and questing spirit in order to make marketable product. So, I never bothered with any of his albums; indeed, Brutal Youth is my first Costello album. And I don't know who this album is for. Would an Elvis Costello fan find handholds within this album? I was just left staring in rather bored confusion. I can't recall any of the lyrics, other than a chorus about even the clown knowing when to strike, which just seemed too undercooked and asinine an image to be in any way effective. The songs blend into each other, to the extent that I genuinely mixed up the first and second track. And at 15 songs, it begins to get pretty whiffy towards the end. Whiffy, but not putrid. It may be the case that I am too unfamiliar with Elvis Costello's works to appreciate the direction of this album, and with a firm knowledge of Costello's most feted albums, the rewards of this will become dazzling. But, it may also be the case that he's an overrated hack who latched on to others' innovations. A number of other possibilities may be true; maybe this is just a weak album by a capable songwriter. I can only report what I feel now. Elvis Costello produced the Specials' first album. I suppose that's a reason to hold out hope.

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Not the biggest fan of it. Only a few songs on here that I can say I actually enjoyed, while the rest were just too bland. 4/10

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I like the music going on, some proper piano bashing happening. but don't get on with his voice at all so can't really listen to it.

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i feel like i should like elvis costello, but his voice is fucking annoying.

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1

I can't. I just can't with that voice. All that uppy downy on every syllable thing he does makes me want to hurt not just him but anyone I can get hold of. It's an instant rage maker. I get that he's very popular, but no, you can't make me listen to this, no amount of persuasion will work. Ick, I heard half a song, I want to scrub myself clean.

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Not my bag at all. Wasn't really interested in any of the tracks

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Absolutely cannot stand his voice, it's like a cheese grater chuffing on my soul

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I would rather go to a 5 hour nickel back concert then ever listen to this album again... I wish I could give him zero stars

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Oh man I don't think I'm an Elvis Costello fan but here we gooooo. Ugh this is just not good. I don't understand how he got so popular. I want to understand his context. Is he power pop? Pop rock? I cannot wait for this to be over.

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1

Elvis Costello, on this album, sounds like what Billy Joel would sound like if Billy Joel kinda sucked. The sound is... Unoriginal. It's exactly what you would expect it to sound like if someone who grew up in the rock&roll/punk scene, and who also happened to love Broadway musicals, but wasn't a talented enough singer to make it, told you that they were going to make a 50s pop revival album. The influences seem to be just a list of the most tired genres of white American/British music. The instrumental aspects of the album, with a few exceptions, are slightly more boring than necessary to achieve their purpose, which is apparently to be entirely subordinate to the vocals. This is unfortunate, because the vocals are pretty annoying. Costello is not a great singer, and I think the mix engineer did him no favors here: the vocals are dry, abrasively saturated, and way too loud. We looked up some of the lyrics, and our consensus was that it was difficult to tell if he had anything interesting to say, but it pretty much felt like the answer was no. Lots of love/breakup songs. Some annoying choruses (e.g. "this is hell"). Wouldn't recommend.

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Not for me.

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Not impressed. This one should stay in the 90's.

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couldn't finish it :(( he annoys me

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bullshit

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This was not very good.

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Fucking awful I just hated this. Preferred all the death metal we'd had. I cannot STAND his weird singing voice, it upsets me.

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This album is remarkably boring. Elvis Costello's punk tendencies are wasted here, or even there, especially when "20% Amnesia" actually makes vocal sense, contrary to the rest of the album. Lyrically and musically, we can respect the creativity and composition of this album. This listener would never discourage Elvis Costello from making this music ever again, but it is telling that the need to say that is even necessary.

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1

This album is pretty trash in my opinion! I quite like the odd song from Elvis Costello but listening to this entire album was very boring and didn't particularly inspire any feelings in me lol. Even musically I didn't really enjoy most of it or find it that impressive. I guess he's popular with lots of dads? But personally, I can't see why this would be on the list.

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This is not the first Elvis Costello album I have listened to. When I completed the Rolling Stone top 500 album list from 2012 I know there were a few of his albums on the list. Guess I just don't get him.

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Elvis Costello is not my thing. It is just bad. He is clearly the favorite of the creator of this list.

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I can't. I just can't with that voice. All that uppy downy on every syllable thing he does makes me want to hurt not just him but anyone I can get hold of. It's an instant rage maker. I get that he's very popular, but no, you can't make me listen to this, no amount of persuasion will work. Ick, I heard half a song, I want to scrub myself clean.

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1

As a man whose job it is to be brutal to the youth, let me tell you what I think about Elvis Costello. He's a fuckin' little bitch man who could never be as brutal to kids as ive been.

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