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The Boy Named If by Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Elvis Costello & the Imposters

The Boy Named If

Release Date: Jan 14, 2022

Genre(s): Pop/Rock

Record label: Capitol

75

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Album Review: The Boy Named If by Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Great, Based on 3 Critics

musicOMH.com - 80
Based on rating 4

For a man now on his 32nd album, you could forgive Elvis Costello for taking it a bit easier these days. On the contrary – A Boy Named If takes off at a cracking pace and doesn’t let up through most of the record’s run-time. It’s no surprise that this feels like a throwback to Costello’s heydays. He’s joined by his band The Imposters (who are pretty much The Attractions, only with bass player Davey Faragher replacing Bruce Thomas).

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Under The Radar - 70
Based on rating 7/10

At this point in Elvis Costello's long, storied, 45 year professional career, it's a cliche to label any new album of his that sounds like this to be his best since *fill in the blank* or his first "rock" album since that same *fill in the blank* or a different, earlier album. In this case, though, it must be acknowledged that this brand new album by Costello and his long-running (since 2001) backing band, The Imposters (which is really just three fourths of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Elvis Costello & The Attractions with bassist Davey Farragher replacing Bruce Thomas), will remind many listeners of earlier works from this quartet, particularly 2004's The Delivery Man (the first album officially credited to Elvis Costello & The Imposters) and to a lesser extent, 2008's excellent follow-up Momofuku. While those two albums are full of social and political lyrics, the lyrics here seem to be more abstract personal observations focusing on relationships with the exception of "Mistook Me for a Friend," with its references to "a pocket full of Presidents" and "petty cash and criminals," but even then, there are few explicit references to what has been going on in the world in recent years.

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Record Collector
Opinion: Absolutly essential

Elvis Costello's 32nd album, titled The Boy Named If, underlines why he is one of Britain's greatest songwriters. It continues the purple patch that began with 2018's Look Now with a level of intensity and focus that recalls his commercial and critical zenith at the turn of the 80s. Co-produced by Costello alongside the US-Argentinian engineer and producer Sebastian Krys, the record's full title is The Boy Named If (And Other Children's Stories).

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