Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Elvis Costello & The Attractions - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down

(F-Beat, 1980)

Punchless dreck from the eternally-overrated Elvis Costello. I never understood the love this guy receives from all corners of the universe; I don’t hear any of that alleged cutting wit in his lyrics, and the unremarkable music is glorified pub rock that only occasionally flirts with jagged punkiness. “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” is an especially dull exercise, with shades of the E Street Band in that tootling organ and sleek, jovial bar-band muscle. Mediocre as can be, and the less said about it the better. On the other side, “Girls Talk” seems promising with its rhythmic oomph, but it’s all tease… there’s no payoff in the end. What, if anything, am I missing when it comes to Costello? I’ve heard all of the records on which he built his rep, and aside from the odd single that sounds good coming through a jukebox, I find this snoozer of a 7” to be pretty much representative of his early work. But we can all agree that his late-’80s collaboration with Paul McCartney, “My Brave Face,” is fun, right?


Donald Brown said...

Boy, when you miss the boat you miss the boat, like ... you step off the dock into space and then proceed to plunge into salty brine because the ship has done sailed. Might as well stay on shore if this is the best you can do on Costello. I won't even say "ya had to be there" when this stuff was new because Nieve and the two Thomases offer musical interplay that, dare I say it? (I do) revivals that over-rated band of Liverpudlians that were the inspiration for an album like Get Happy! (count 'em -- 20 songs on a vinyl recording), crossed with Motown. Ya might have mentioned that "Can't Stand Up" was not penned by EC so the lack of wit (which I understand you're applying in general) here can't be attributed to him. Also, this track is from GH which was actually a departure from the two previous albums (his 2nd and 3rd) that made the rep...

"Trying to be so bad is bad enough/ Don't make me laugh by talkin' tough/ Don't put your heart out on your sleeve /When your remarks are off the cuff"

But I don't own any vinyl 45s, so ... ya got me there.

tabs4959 said...

I am afraid I must concur with Donald Brown on this one. EC does have that tendency to make people overuse the superlatives but in this case they are more than warranted. The other thing is that this is a cover of an old Sam and Dave tune and everyone shoud be including Sam and Dave on their records if they have an ability to do so. More Sam and Dave and fewer rules is my motto!!!