Album #401 – This Year’s Model
This Year’s Model was Costello’s second album and his first with long-time backing band, The Attractions. This improves the sound Costello had on My Aim Is True. Bass player Bruce Thomas, drummer Steve Thomas and keyboardist Steve Nieve, gave his songs wings. Costello’s songwriting continues to be ironic and angry, hence the title he was given around this time, The Angry Young Man. But, this does not detract from the sound and excitement of listening to This Year’s Model all the way through. Costello is almost playful through his delivery, something he has always been good at. This is most evident on (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea (which was left off the American release because it sounded too “British” ARRGG!!!), Pump It Up and This Year’s Model. Despite the angry tone of the lyrics, the album is a great rock n’ roll album. I own a copy of the UK version on vinyl and it is one of my most valued LPs, because of it’s inclusion of (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea and Night Rally and because the UK version is hard to find in North America for the price I paid. Also, I love the energy Costello brings to the table. But, thankfully, all the tracks released on both US and the UK versions are on the CD version. This Year’s Model gave Costello’s career a boost, especially after their first TV appearance together on SNL in December 1977. The album would create the Attractions’ musical template and a journey that would last for 9 years, ending in 1986. To me, Costello’s best years were with the Attractions. They were the type of band he needed in order for him to have the long career he now cherishes. Their sound, dynamics, chemistry and musicianship, made them the envy of other backing bands. The Attractions are, in my opinion, THE best backing band in rock history for these reasons and so much more. Other highlights include: Radio Radio, No Action, Little Triggers, You Belong To Me, Lip Service and Lipstick Vogue. Overall, I give This Year’s Model, 4.5 out of 5.
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