King of America
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Elvis used musicians from Elvis Presley's band for some of the tracks, as well as legendary jazz bassist Ray Brown on some others. If you are an Elvis fan, you will be an even bigger fan once you are done with this CD.
By recruiting some of the best musicians old and new, songs like "Brilliant Mistake" and "American Without Tears" effortlessly blossom with atmosphere and honesty. Even though Elvis describes his state of mind in less than flattering terms in the CD's extra liner notes, it's incredible just how seamlessly the songs here flow through the course of the album. Almost every song here glimmers with the kind of purity that Burnett would eventually trademark with the likes of "Oh Brother Where Art Thou." Even the Attractions, who at this venture, had become estranged and embittered, contribute one of their best performances ever with the single song "Suit Of Lights." Given the song's topic of entertainment as entrapment and the image of a southern mob's tar and feather party as "the closest to a work of art that they will ever be," it's not surprising that they could relate.
In fact, Elvis seemed to be at a more relaxed state of lyricism than since the underrated "Trust." Compare the fire analogies of "The Only Flame In Town" (on "Goodbye Cruel World") to the far superior "Indoor Fireworks" here. Or such leap from the speakers couplets like "She said that she was working for the ABC news, it was as much of the alphabet as she new how to use" from "Brilliant Mistake.Read more ›
Expect bittersweet organ chords from Mitchell Froom (Producer - Richard Thompson), touches of blue guitar from James Burton (Could this be the same James Burton that was a member of Elvis Presley's TCB?) and a solid back beat from session extraordinaire Jim Keltner. With 15 tracks, Elvis gives the listener his money's worth, but I'd prefer that a few of the selections had been dropped. `Lovable' and `Eisenhower Blues' are uninspired lightning fast rock-a-billy songs, and the speedy country tunes (Glitter Gulch & The Big Light) are out of place. Picturesque poetry, softhearted ballads and first-class musicianship. Maybe Elvis is the King of America.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"King of America" remains a top notch Elvis Costello album and this is a nice sounding single disc edition if that's all you want. Read morePublished on December 17, 2012 by Wayne Klein
I'm probably in agreement with some reviewers that this is the best thing Elvis Costello has made. It gets the nod because the songs flow together as an experience, and a quality... Read morePublished on February 7, 2010 by tierny
It was an indelible, and ironic, piece of bravura for Costello to at this time have named himself the King of anything. Read morePublished on January 21, 2004 by David Manning
I originally purchased this album on vinyl and fell in love with it from the first listen I gave it. I'm not sure there is a better recording to put on and unwind to. Read morePublished on September 1, 2002
Reading some of the reviews of this album, I am amazed that it seems to be most warmly embraced by casual Elvis fans and most vilified by his true believers. Read morePublished on May 1, 2002 by Anne R. Eason
I am surprised at reading some of these reviews that out of all of Elvis' albums, people would buy this first. Read morePublished on February 14, 2002 by G.C.
This album isn't the materpiece it's often made out to be and it's one that's aged pretty poorly in comparison with some of Costello's less celebrated work from before and after. Read morePublished on November 2, 2001
Maybe I have no right to say that because I haven't heard every single Elvis album (yet), but I have yet to hear anything else in his collection that moves me as much as this CD. Read morePublished on July 30, 2001 by Matt