Probably the most notable thing about Costello’s next album, Mighty Like a Rose, is the monstrous beard he grew to accompany its release. Costello says he grew the beard to get through an Irish winter and kept it around because it irritated people so much.
The songs, for the most part, aren’t as memorable as Costello’s facial hair. About half of the 14 tracks are forgettable and the rest are just a little bit above average. But there is one major exception. The album’s final track, a circus hymn with the oddball title ‘Couldn’t Call It Unexpected No. 4,’ could well be my favorite Elvis Costello song of all time.