Chapter Two: I think I fell in love with you.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - Town Cryer
Maybe you don’t believe my heart is in the right place
Why don’t you take a good look at my face?
Elvis Costello took his twin sons Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, 18 months, for a walk in Beverly Hills. Oh, daddy. <3
Elvis Costello - Radio Sweetheart
“Watching the Detectives” – Elvis Costello
(Words/music: Elvis Costello, available on My Aim is True (Reissue), Rykodisc 1993)
Elvis Costello earned a reputation as a gifted lyricist. Most discussions of his music, particularly his late ‘70s output, focuses on the sarcasm, wordplay, and wit in his lyrics (which makes sense for a man who uses the word “anaesthetize” in a pop song). His skill doesn’t end on the lyric sheet, though; Costello could put notes on a staff with the same expertise he could fill his notebook. Whether arranging his own songs or producing others records, Costello has a knack for using his core group of musicians to create whatever sound or mood his song needs.
“Watching the Detectives” does this particularly well. Using the same group of core instruments that made the melancholy “Allison,” Costello turns a wobbily reggae shuffle into a darker, more sinister sounding song. The lyrics draw on the melodrama in a TV detective show, and in turn Costello draws on some of sounds of a noir thriller in his song. Overall, it makes his story about a couple divided by television that much more mysterious. Like the shows the lover enjoys watching, we’re missing some of the clues about the relationship; borrowing some of the musical tricks from these shows is Costello’s way of winking at us as he makes a boring night on the couch seem dramatic. From the dirty drums to the dark sounding guitar, the dark groove puts us on alert. When his band suddenly cuts out at the end of the third verse, Costello uses the band to create drama beyond his narrative, ultimately letting the music help him tell his story. It’s hard to imagine making a droll night in this compelling with words alone.
(via somesongsconsidered )