Elvis Costello has a rich body of songs, so it's no surprise that when he turns up on the stage he bests even some of the greats.
11 Feb 2016
History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.
05 Feb 2016
As we use the term today, authenticity allows no truth from art, only from artists. It visits art the way one visits a subway station or an airport: to get to somewhere else.
03 Feb 2016
Costello on Costello is a joy for those already in the cult and another arrow in the quiver for those who think he should just shut up already.
24 Dec 2015
A "new" CD of Ralph Stanley duets provides an easy metaphor for how music is currently sold.
05 Mar 2015
Elvis Costello and the Roots are teaming up for a new album releasing in September via the famed Blue Note Records. 'Wise Up Ghost' offers a compelling blend of the Roots' deep funk and Costello's acerbic vocals, tied together by fabulous songwriting.
22 Jul 2013
Margaret Thatcher is dead, yet her influence is stronger than ever. What lessons can be drawn from the cultural response to Thatcherism, and can they be applied again?
02 Jun 2013
The 116th Most Acclaimed Album of All Time would like to go to Spain or somewhere like that, with its two-tone bible and its funny cigarettes; its suntan lotion and its castanets. Counterbalance is waiting for the end of the world.
15 Feb 2013
PopMatters talks with comedian, radio host and director Tom Scharpling about his signature brew of "mirth, music and mayhem."
28 Jan 2013
Republicans love rock 'n' roll -- almost as much as the bands loathe them. Here are five songs the GOP can call its own.
05 Sep 2012
"Night Rally" is threatening and filled with devastating imagery, and "Radio Radio" -- while no less subversive in its subject matter -- is more upbeat, and most satisfyingly, contains a proper resolution.
04 Sep 2012
"Lipstick Vogue" builds off themes established previously on This Year's Model, but here the Attractions are simply unrestrained.
27 Aug 2012
This song's inconvenient placement in the This Year's Model track sequence might in part be responsible for its relative anonymity.
20 Aug 2012
The culmination of Costello's Beatles fixation, "Lip Service" is a comparatively tame power pop number that rounds out the otherwise threatening second side of This Year's Model
13 Aug 2012
It's almost not worth listening to Model unless it's a version that contains "Chelsea", as the song's presence is essential to the album's overall impact.
06 Aug 2012
"Hand in Hand" is overall reminiscent of Merseybeat, without a doubt one of Costello's major touchstones for This Year's Model and beyond. Yet the relatively tame vocal performance and buoyant melody offer a sharp contrast to the harsh lyrics.
30 Jul 2012
On "You Belong to Me", the author's romantic possessiveness and sexual neuroses that are merely hinted at in previous selections from This Year's Model reach their volcanic acme here, where they stay for the impassioned remainder of the record.
23 Jul 2012
More than the simplistic doo-wop homage some seem to disregard it as, "Little Triggers" is Costello at his lovestruck summit.
16 Jul 2012
The most stylistically New Wave cut from This Year's Model, the somewhat dated and overplayed "Pump It Up" serves as an arch between the lyrically-effusive "The Beat" and melodramatic "Little Triggers", a transition that otherwise wouldn't be as fluid.
09 Jul 2012
Nearly all of "The Beat's" magic lies in its glorious, impressionistic lyrics; everything else seems like sort of an afterthought.
02 Jul 2012
"This Year's Girl" is much-welcomed cool-down after This Year's Model's comparatively raucous opener, "No Action"
25 Jun 2012
Leaving behind psychedelic prog for nervy New Wave, the latest Between the Grooves series is a track-by-track deconstruction of Elvis Costello's malicious 1978 masterpiece. First up is the frenetic "No Action", Costello's best album opener and a great way of introducing his backing band the Attractions to the world.
18 Jun 2012
Sure, you may believe that it's not cool to like Train, but with the release of the unabashedly infectious California 37, the San Francisco trio brings fun back to pop music.
16 May 2012
Counterbalance is on tenterhooks, ending in dirty looks, listening to the 79th most acclaimed album of all time, thinking about this and that. A 1978 classic from EC—pump it up, until you can’t feel it.
27 Apr 2012
The British saved rock 'n' roll, reignited the blues, and may just make country music more American.
16 Oct 2011
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