The physicality of Costello, geekily bespectacled and almost decked out in clothes that tightly covered his thin frame made the artist seem like a lightweight by first glance. Upon first LISTEN, however, the man and the bands he fronted (like The Attractions) were anything but. Taking various genres and intertwining them with an exhaulted British style that’s weaned somewhere between the first wave of punk music and the first strains of the New Wave, Costello released many albums during that time and even currently, which challenge the ears of the listener. No question he’s got his own style he stays mired in, but he constantly changes that style up, as evidenced here on this great 22 track collection, which ranges from hard rocking (“I Don’t Want to go to Chelsea,” “Radio, Radio,” “Pump it Up,”) to Caucasian quasi-reggae that many artists were doing at the time (“Watchin’ the Detectives”), to great ballads that flirt with arrangements and soulful turns right out of The Beatles songbook if the Fab Four had continued making music into the 1970s and beyond (“Alison,” “Every Day I Write the Book,” “What’s So Funny “˜Bout Peace, Love and Understanding,” “Indoor Fireworks,” and “I Want You”). I’ve mentioned the more well-known tracks and radio friendly early MTV heavily rotated tunes, but there are also great other unknown tracks to the Costello-lite fan as well to aurally peruse: “High Fidelity,” “Accidents Will Happen,” “New Lace Sleeves,” and “Man Out Of Time.” This collection is a perfect place to start for all the great music of rocking hope, faith and charity this legendary man has to offer.
Browse over 2000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each!