Elvis Costello

Imperial Bedroom - F-Beat 1982

Tracks: 1. Beyond Belief / 2. Tears Before Bedtime / 3. Shabby Doll / 4. The Long Honeymoon / 5. Man Out Of Time / 6. Almost Blue / 7. ...And In Every Home / 8. The Loved Ones / 9. Human Hands / 10. Kid About It / 11. Little Savage / 12. Boy With A Problem / 13. Pidgin English / 15. Town Cryer


I had some trouble sharing others' enthusiasm for "Imperial Bedroom" when it was first released in 1982. The album was, of course, in many ways a return to Costello's original starting point, after the, for me, very disappointing "Almost Blue" album. Compared to "Trust" and "Get Happy" , though, the numbers are generally more produced, and stylistically the album spreads out over many genres.

However my original appeal against "Imperial Bedroom" was that I thought there were only few really good tracks. Later, I have had to revise my opinion, because there are actually more great songs.

I remember that the only tracks that really made an impression on me were "Shabby Doll" and "Long Honeymoon". I still think well of "Shabby Doll", while "Long Honeymoon" has not lasted for me. On the other hand, there are a handful among the other songs that stand out positively. "The Loved Ones" is a catchy song that well could have stemmed from Costello's perhaps best album "Armed Forces". The same description could fit "Little Savage" which probably is my favorite track on the album. "Man Out of Time", "You Little Fool" and the somewhat heavily-produced ballad "Town Cryer" also stand out.

There are also a couple of real disappointments. The two Dusty Springfield pastiches "Almost Blue" and "Kid About it" can be hard to swallow.

Conclusion: In several ways an uneven album that contains fine numbers, but which as a whole does not measure up to Costello's best. To be fair, It should be mentioned that Costello vocally is on top and he shows great versatility.

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