Elvis Costello - This Years Model LP
he first record he made with his legendary backing band the Attractions, This Year's Model is Elvis Costello's most explosive and urgent album. Picking up where his fine My Aim Is True left off, the British singer/guitarist blasts through 12 excellent tracks with the fervent purpose and headlong pace of someone who has a cab waiting for him outside. Stylistically versatile, deeply varied, and melodically catchy, this where Costello came into his own – and where the chemistry between virtuosic keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas, and drummer Pete Thomas produced one of rock's best groups.
A dynamic maelstrom of emotional spite, bitter frustration, sexual angst, and caustic political commentary, the 1978 set boosted Costello's star and yielded innumerable standards: the undying MOR protest "Radio Radio," fervent "Pump It Up," and spunky "No Action" are all here. While often cited as Costello's "angry" record, This Year's Model has more to do with disappointments and denials. The album bursts forth with a savage energy not possible without the Attractions, which are responsible for the songs being built from the ground up. Where Costello's voice and twangy guitar dominate My Aim Is True, here, sizzling rhythms and Nieve's colorful organ runs anchor the foundations. This is a group effort, with Costello's biting lyrics taking chances and forcing the listener to mull double meanings all the while the music zooms by at a fast clip.