This Year’s Model, Costello’s second album, is a fast and furious collection of brainy punk pop, world’s away from the material he would go on to release in the decades to come.
In some ways, this record feels like quintessential Costello, even if it is less ambitious musically than much of his best work.
The snarled, slurred delivery, the angry lyrics, the pained passion — this is the Costello that lurks beneath everything else he’s ever done.
I don’t like you walking round with physical jerks
Everything they say and do is getting on my nerves
Soon they will be lucky to be picking up the perks
‘Cause when they pull the shutters down
and throw up in the dark,
they’ll find that all the dogs outside
bite much worse than they bark.
Here we are living in paradise,
living in luxury.
Oh, the thrill is here but it won’t last long
You better have your fun before it moves along
And you’re already looking for another,
fool like me.
I call you Betty Felon ’cause you are a pretty villain
And I think that I should tell them that you’d
make a pretty killing
‘Cause meanwhile up in heaven they are waiting at the gate
saying ‘We’d always knew you’d make it,
didn’t think you’d come this late’.
And now it’s much too dangerous to stop what you’ve begun
When everyone in paradise carries a gun
Later in the evening when arrangements are made,
I’ll be at the keyhole outside your bedroom door.
‘Cause I’m the first to know whenever the plans are laid
that never go further than floor to floor.
You think that I don’t know the boy that you’re touching,
but I’ll be at the video and I will be watching