Throughout his career Elvis Costello
has always been prolific; thus it was surprising, even given the change in record labels for the US, when he took a whole 20 months between Blood & Chocolate
and this follow-up. But the musical growth he exhibits makes the wait worthwhile. The musical settings range from the stark folk of "Tramp the Dirt Down" to the pop sprightliness of "Veronica" (a collaboration with Paul McCartney
that became Costello
's first American Top 20 hit) and the New Orleans jazz sound of "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror," featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
. The lyrics are among his best.