Elvis Costello Jon Pareles - Essay

Jon Pareles

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Somebody must have told Elvis Costello about "the Mystery Dance": sex. All about it. Told him, showed him—and burned him so badly that the idea of romance scares the living hell out of him, yet he can't get sex off his mind…. This Year's Model stays close to the thick of sexual warfare. Elvis vs. fear and lies, Elvis vs. anyone who gets close….

This Year's Model shows none of the detachment of My Aim Is True…. [The] lyrics stay personal. No politics, very little philosophy (although "Night Rally" on the British version has a bit of both). Costello is still bugged by the same thing: "Knowing you're with him is driving me crazy" ("No Action"). This time, though, he won't...

(The entire section is 421 words.)