Elvis Costello
My Aim Is True


5.0
classic

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
July 20th, 2007 | 43 replies | 16,318 views


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album that bridges two time periods of music together, a pop masterpiece.

1977 could be considered one of the biggest years in music. With groundbreaking albums from The Ramones, The Clash, Wire, Television, and so many others, the punk movement began to breathe in 1977. Important 80s punk bands like Black Flag and X formed. Disco found its last chance with Saturday Night Fever and The Bee Gees. Still, as new movements formed, old movements died out. Elvis Presley died on August 16, Led Zeppelin gave their farewell concert, members of Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a plane crash, and Alice Cooper went into rehab. It is in this transition period we find the nerdy-looking Elvis Costello, grinning in an almost sarcastic manner and showing off his guitar on the cover of My Aim Is True. Aside from being a pop masterpiece, My Aim Is True successfully bridges the gap between old and new, tired and fresh. He possesses the anger of a punk but the musicianship, sensibility, and lyrical brilliance of intimate singer-songwriters.

“Welcome to the Working Week” opens the album perfectly, a short statement full of the jarring guitar chords and simplicity that made classic punk, as well as that surprisingly deep, powerful voice that no one expected out of Costello. Recorded as Costello skipped his job with sick days, he sings about his hatred for the 9-5 job. Everyone can understand his point of view, and its earnest, humble message makes the song all the more classic. While the songs of that style put him on par with his contemporaries, it is his other styles that make My Aim Is True stand out as more than just another punk album. “Alison”, easily the best song on the album and possibly Costello’s best song ever, takes the opposite approach as a slow, soulful ballad. With beautiful lead guitar from John McFee of backing band Clover, who later went to form Huey Lewis and the News, Costello finds a perfect musical setting behind him with lush organ setting the chord structure. The famous lyrics “Alison, I know this world is killing you/Oh, Alison, my aim is true”, interpreted either as a bittersweet love call or intimation towards murder might be the best lyrics on the album.

Between these two extremes are perfectly crafted pop songs. “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” features, once again, excellent guitar work and brilliant lyrics from Elvis. The repeated “red shoes, the angels wanna wear my red shoes” will undoubtedly get stuck in your head. Meanwhile, the groove-based “Waiting for the End of the World”, an obvious throwback to the bluesier days of rock, shows off the production style of Nick Lowe, showing his versatility in making any style sound good. “Watching the Detectives” puts a reggae spin on the music, and while it isn’t as much of a closer as the original “Waiting for the End of the World” was, it still proves the album’s brilliance of bridging many different styles. “Miracle Man” features some creative drumming with excellent cymbal accents and more of Costello’s beta male lyrics. All in all, every song possesses something special and makes the album stand out even among the countless classic albums of that year. My Aim Is True is the result of 6 years of playing, failing, and living. Costello is angry on the album, but he's also sensible and smart.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 20th 2007


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I only reviewed the first disc, seeing as that's the album Costello intended on having.

Tyler
Emeritus
July 20th 2007


7926 Comments


my copy on has one disc.

i prefer this year's model though.

The Jungler
July 20th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still don't know why this is the only Costello I have. It's pretty great.
Good job on the review.

hyperboleking
July 23rd 2007


407 Comments


Very good review. Don't agree with everything said but good review, a lot of good historical information included. This Message Edited On 07.23.07

Roach
October 23rd 2009


2148 Comments


this is so sweet






and i mean like sweet not oh this is cute sweet

totally sweet dude

Phantom
October 23rd 2009


8930 Comments


elvis costello wears glasses?

i'm out

Roach
October 23rd 2009


2148 Comments


i dont even call him elvis costello i just call him four eyes

Phantom
October 23rd 2009


8930 Comments


idl he was on the simpsons so that makes him cool might check this out im sure my dad has some of his stuff somewhere

Roach
October 23rd 2009


2148 Comments


ya do & then throw in some buddy holly

BigHans
December 8th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes rules so hard

BigHans
May 12th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes rules so hard (2)

TheBoss88
May 12th 2011


208 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Entire album rules so hard.

BigHans
May 12th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah its awesome I havent listened to it in a long time

wabbit
July 26th 2011


6999 Comments


so fucking amazing.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2011


15035 Comments


i can never get past the first song just beacuse that song is so good. also the chorus of "no dancing"
is a LOT like that of the beatles' "I'll get you"

wabbit
July 26th 2011


6999 Comments


ya I know what you mean "Needle in the Hay" syndrome where the opening is so good you just listen to it.

Also I agree with the beatles thing, It's still one of my favourites on the album

BigHans
December 30th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Porch do you like this

omnipanzer
December 30th 2011


21448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

GFA!

omnipanzer
December 30th 2011


21448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Next... Look Sharp!

porch
December 30th 2011


8460 Comments


Porch do you like this


yup

most of his albums up to imperial bedroom are cool



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