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Day 64: Elvis Costello – My Aim is True

3 May


And here we are, another Dad-Rock Tuesday.  This week, mi padre picked out Elvis Costello’s iconic late 70’s debut, My Aim Is True.

Everyone knows Elvis Costello.  He pretty much invented the “singer with a weird voice” thing that I love so much, so I was essentially destined to love this record from the start.  All of his personal convictions and whatnot aside, he makes some really great music.  I’ll have to maintain that mentality for when I listen to Kanye West in the next couple of days…

Anyway, there’s no doubt that Costello’s voice is the focal point of this record.  I’m having trouble describing it, so I’ll just go with “unconventional.”  It’s not whiney or obnoxious…I guess it’s just like he’s got a strange, unidentifiable accent of some sort.  Regardless, it sounds really cool, and does go well with the basic rock setup that backs him up.

As for the actual music and songs that make up this record, My Aim Is True has a bit of everything.  I believe that Costello is at his best on some of the faster songs such as Mystery Dance and album-opener Welcome to the Working Week, but there is still something to be said for the slow-tempo track.  Alison, probably his best-known song, tells the heartbreaking tale of a guy who is still in love with a woman who has just gotten married.  What makes that song is the discrepancy between the lyrics and the sounds being made by the instruments.  The music is happy, almost up-beat at times, and is in stark contrast with Costello’s lyrics.

Overall, I love this record.  Costello paved the way for some of my favorite unconventional voices, and I have to give him props for that.