13 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Elvis Costello’s third album is fueled by wonderfully harnessed emotions like anger (“Chemistry Class”), love (“Two Little Hitlers”), and paranoia (“Goon Squad”). Sing-song hooks, elaborate metaphors (using war for love), and dense musical passages twirl around like carnival rides (check the waltzy “Sunday’s Best”) so it sometimes sounds unusually, and blissfully, claustrophobic. “Oliver’s Army” is the only power-pop smash ever written about militaries stocked with impoverished boys, and the unironic, Nick Lowe-penned powerhouse “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding” simply soars. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Elvis Costello’s third album is fueled by wonderfully harnessed emotions like anger (“Chemistry Class”), love (“Two Little Hitlers”), and paranoia (“Goon Squad”). Sing-song hooks, elaborate metaphors (using war for love), and dense musical passages twirl around like carnival rides (check the waltzy “Sunday’s Best”) so it sometimes sounds unusually, and blissfully, claustrophobic. “Oliver’s Army” is the only power-pop smash ever written about militaries stocked with impoverished boys, and the unironic, Nick Lowe-penned powerhouse “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding” simply soars. 

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