ELVIS COSTELLO : KING OF AMERICA
Label : F.Beat
Release Year : 1986
Length : 57:56
Review (AllMusic) : Stripping away much of the excess that cluttered Punch the Clock and Goodbye Cruel World, Elvis Costello returned to his folk-rock and pub rock roots with King of America, creating one of his most affecting and personal records. Costello literally took on the album as a return to roots, billing himself by his given name Declan MacManus and replacing the Attractions with a bunch of L.A. session men (although his old band appears on one cut), who give the album a rootsy but sleek veneer that sounds remarkably charged after the polished affectations of his Langer/Winstanley productions. And not only does the music sound alive, but so do his songs, arguably his best overall set since Trust. Working inside the limits of country, folk, and blues, Costello writes literate, introspective tales of loss, heartbreak, and America that are surprisingly moving - he rarely got better than "Brilliant Mistake," "Glitter Gulch," "American Without Tears," "Big Light," and "Indoor Fireworks." What separates King of America from the underrated Almost Blue is that Costello's country now sounds lived-in and worn, bringing a new emotional depth to the music, and that helps make it one of his masterpieces.