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Brutal Youth by Elvis Costello
Released: Mar 1994
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
After recording with all-star session men, Paul McCartney and classical quartets, Costello got the Attractions back together on this ironically titled 1994 set. "13 Steps Lead Down" returned Costello to modern rock radio, while "Clown Strike," "Just About Glad" and, especially, the acerbic "Sulky Girl" (which grafts Costello's increasing disgust with human nature onto a Zombies-style keyboard riff) really do recall the Attractions at their caustic New Wave best. The finest cut may just be "You Tripped at Every Step," a biting ballad that confirms E.C.'s place in the mature rocker pantheon.
Nick Dedina
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