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Elvis Costello’s Brutal Truth

Ira Robbins, Newsday, 1994

Like an old flame breezing back through the door with no more than an indolent shrug and a sly wink, Elvis Costello has returned from last year's string quartet fling to reclaim the stripped-down, jacked-up sound of his younger days. The newly released Brutal Youth — a fervid album as taut, spare and focused as any Costello has made since 1981's Trust — brings the bitter, aggressive adolescent of that era around to meet a confident musical intellectual who is approaching 40.

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