Four years after Painted From Memory, six years after All This Useless Beauty and eight years after Brutal Youth, Costello finally released another rock-n-roll album.
I probably rate When I Was Cruel even higher than it deserves because it was so welcome after such a long dry spell. When you’ve been in the desert, even dirty water tastes like Evian. Not that When I Was Cruel is tainted it any way — it’s a masterful piece of work. But it was also exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.