When the Grammy nominations came out last week, I was somewhat surprised to see Elvis Costello’s “When I was Cruel” up for Best Rock Album. Since I’m a huge EC fan, I immediately purchased this CD, and listened…and listened…and I figured it would grow on me.
But why sugar-coat it? “When I was Cruel” sucks. There’s not one song I would pick out as a standout. There’s too much experimentation and studio trickery (despite the promise of a return back EC’s rock roots). The first track “45” – also up for a Grammy! – is pretty standard fare, nothing special. And then there’s…um…some other songs.
Gee, I don’t even care enough to slam it. A weak recording. Elvis should seriously think about working only with the Attractions, see as the last two great CDs from him were “All this Useless Beauty” and (IMHO) “Brutal Youth.” Stay away from Swedish opera singers, Elvis, and you’ll be OK.Powered by Sidelines