Tuesday, October 1, 2013

405 of 1001 Albums: Elvis Costello and the Attractions' Armed Forces

It took me a really long time to finish this album. While Elvis Costello has a certain talent with his vocals and the instrumentals can be catchy, the music itself lacks a bit of that 50's rock charm that his other album I listened to had. His vocals just feel very different than the vibe of the tunes themselves. The music though this also features The Attractions, a backing band he commonly teamed up with to put together his album for this listen.

History: The reviews are mixed for the album. At the time of the release there was good feedback, but there were also some comments on how the production still wanted that pop charm. Over time the album has became more critically welcomed by recent critics. The album also has made a few pop culture references. This album would be the first that The Attractions were credited on the cover of the album for being apart of the music.

Vocals: Costello's vocals are very 50's pop. It sounds like he is still garnering control over his voice though because otherwise it has this very deep pitted sound that spins everywhere. It just doesn't make me feel any emotion, good or bad. His voice projects the lyrics well I just feel it lacks in a lot of emotions. It captures this jovial sound he has to his voice, but I still can't make a connection.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals straddle the line of pop and rock well, and Costello makes it fun for his fans to listen to. His voicing mixes in with those instrumentals to give it that extra kick. With The Attractions coming in for instrumentals. They blend their instrumentals talents well with the talent of Costello to make the music arranged in a well rounded way.

Recording: Since Costello has a unique style, that he flashes to old school sounds for, it makes his music sound less outdated than many other artists from the 70's and 80's. You could still place in his sound with that time for, so if you like a little of the 80's flare it is still there, but not enough so to keep a wide array of listeners at bay

Overall, it was sort of difficult for me to write about this album. I felt it lacked something for me, and I had no emotion whether good or bad to the content in the album. It took me a while to even gain the motivation to write about it. It's got talent I can recognize, but the vocals were the main drawback for me since they don't resonate or appeal to me.

Rating 4 of 10.

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