Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring & Flowers: Poisoned Rose



Elvis Costello: Poisoned Rose

[purchase]

Can I slip one more flower song in under the wire? I've read in a couple of places that King Of America is Costello's favorite album from his own catalogue. If this is the case, then I have to agree with him. His streak from This Year's Model through Imperial Bedroom is almost unmatched in pop music, with Trust and This Year's Model being personal highlights for me. But King Of America is where the Attractions take their leave for the first time, and Costello stands front and center.  The song writing is top notch, and the emotional intensity of the album is, in my opinion, unlike anything that we had heard from him up until this point.


Interestingly, the writing is all credited to Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus. This wasn't just a marketing trick, Costello had legally changed his name back to his birth name, adding Alysius, just prior to the release of the album.

Costello sounds characteristically angry on this record, but there are more subtle and delicate songs too. He was going through a divorce when he wrote the album, and Poisoned Rose is one of the songs where you hear this painful reality come through clearly. It's one of only a couple of slow-tempo tunes on the album. Really beautiful stuff.

2 comments:

Matt said...

A great song! It actually came up on my player as I was riding the bus today, so I had it still running through my head as I sat down to the computer. Imagine my surprise when I tune in SMM and saw it posted up!

My personal fave EC release is IbMePdErRoIoAmL, but that may just be sentimental... it was my first rock and roll concert!

Cheers!

bwrice said...

Wow - what a coincidence.

You don't need to be sentimental to love Imperial Bedroom -- it's a great record. You really can't lose on those first 7 albums.