Acoustic, Dissonant, Intimist, Low vocals, Melancholic, Old School, Punk
"Elvis is alive! For his 32nd studio album, Elvis Costello proves that time has not taken its toll on him. A rich, exciting and enthusiastic album on which we find his generous anger and his venomous tenderness."
ADRIANSTORK (07.02.2023)  
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Declan Patrick MacManus, a.k.a. Elvis Costello, has always shown a remarkable know-how. His rich and abundant discography has ventured to the crossroads of musical genres: new wave, blues, rock, country, pop, funk, classical music and jazz. It would be tedious to list the unavoidable songs written by the man (only one, the delicate ballad 'Alison', was on his first album 'My Aim Is True'). For the release of his 32nd solo album 'The Boy Named IF' (If would be the Imaginary Friend), Elvis Costello has chosen to surround himself as in his heyday with a group called The Imposters.

Amongst these fake imposters, we find some of the survivors of his 70's band The Attractions, Pete Thomas on drums and Steve Nieve, faithful collaborator, on piano. 'Farewell OK' gets the album off to a fifth gear with a twisty rock'n'roll beat enhanced by the Hammond organ, the drummer's powerful punch and the guitars' prominent presence. It's clear that Elvis has undergone a rejuvenation process that lands us on the 70's planet! Throughout the 52 minutes of the album, the thirteen pieces of various inspirations, with energetic rock as a common denominator, fit together harmoniously to form an exceptional sound puzzle, so much so that one could be mistaken about the object, which has all the makings of a luxury best of. The aggressive 'Magnificient Hurt', with Davey Faragher's booming bass, could have been on 'This Years' Model', released in 1978! 'Penelope Halfpenny' or the quiet 'The Man You Love To Hate' are evasive, going through different moods, 'Mistook Me For A Friend' is a real rock rollercoaster on which the vocals are dizzying.

The acidic voice is untouched, alternating between raucous, energetic and desperately passionate. Fans of ballads and the tender side of the 'encyclopaedia of rock' as he was once known will not be disappointed. 'Paint The Red Rose Blue', which sees the artist settle down at the piano, unfolds its delicate wisps of bliss over which his Elvis-like voice becomes enchanting. 'My Most Beautiful Mistake' is a little more muscular and once again effective, with a chorus filled with the sunshine of Nicole Atkins' voice. The lyrics are always remarkable as little vignettes coloured by a spirited narrator. It's a ballad, the melancholic 'Mr. Crescent', that ends the album on a high note.

We often talk about musical genius, but in this case, we have to face the facts: Elvis Costello is one of the most underestimated geniuses/workers of rock and he proves it with this album, which is masterfully handled from the first note to the last second. It's not too late to witness the coronation of King Elvis!
- Official website

01. Farewell OK
02. The Boy Named If
03. Penelope Halfpenny
04. The Difference
05. What If I Can't Give You Anything But Love?
06. Paint The Red Rose Blue
07. Mistook Me For A Friend
08. My Most Beautiful Mistake
09. Magnificent Hurt
10. The Man You Love To Hate
11. The Death Of Magic Thinking
12. Trick Out The Truth
13. Mr. Crescent

Davey Faragher: Basse
Elvis Costello: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Pete Thomas: Batterie
Steve Nieve: Claviers
Nicole Atkins: Chant / Invité
Sebastian Krys: Chant / Invité
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