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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Elvis Costello

This Year’s Model (Deluxe Edition) (Hip-O

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Elvis Costello’s already enormous back catalog has just expanded. Although all of the demos and other bonus material on the latest rendition of the snarling songwriter’s second album has been out for years, Deluxe Edition marks the first official release of a 1978 concert in Washington, D.C. It shows some of the twists taken by a strong rock band on a set of great early Costello songs.

The core of this two-disc set was first heard 30 years ago. The tracks from the original release of This Year’s Model remain timeless. The sound, crafted by producer Nick Lowe and synthesized in part from ABBA Euro-pop and the edgy electronics of Idiot-era Iggy Pop, hasn’t dated. Neither have the tuneful and lyrically inventive songs, delivered with the sneer of a smart young man confronted at every turn by the agents of stupidity.