Rolling Stone - p.605 stars out of 5
-- "The music is surprisingly lush and pretty....Yet it's all punk rage, thanks to Pete Thomas' drums and Steve Nieve's cranky organ."
Rolling Stone - 12/11/03, p.118Ranked #98
in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...The most 'punk' of Costello's records....Costello vs. the world. And Costello wins..."
Rolling Stone - 2/28/02, p.615 stars out of 5
- "...Loosed punk's bilious hyperactivity upon the soul-based virtuosity of pub rock....uncoiling with an intensity Costello rarely equaled afterward..."
Spin - 12/03, p.122
"...Some of the most stinging songs ever committed to record...'
Spin - p.102
"His nastiest and most awesome record..."
Entertainment Weekly - 2/22/02, p.149
"...Redefined the quirky troubadour as bilious rocker...For those alienated by his C&W and classical forays, this is a reminder of the black-hearted virtuoisty they fell for in the forst place." - Rating: A+
Q - 6/00, p.62Ranked #82
in Q's "100 Greatest British Albums"
Q - 5/02 SE, p.135
Included in Q's "100 Best Punk Albums".
Q - 11/93, p.1434 Stars
- Excellent - "...THIS YEAR'S MODEL shows the benefits of [Costello] establishing his own band..."
Uncut - p.845 stars out of 5
-- "[H]e delivered a scathing attack on everything from his own status as Next Big Thing to celebrity culture to boy-girl romance itself, all backed with The Attractions' wired intensity."
Uncut - 1/03, p.97
Included in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1204 stars out of 5
-- "[I]t still dazzles....His goggle-eyed legacy remains inspiring."
Mojo (Publisher) - 3/02, p.122
"...The petulant intensity strikes you first. It's all gall. With his part Dylan, part Lydon, part, ahem, Graham Parker delivery, he was so 'cross'..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.904 stars out of 5
-- "THIS YEAR'S MODEL was the post-punk distillation of the times, especially in its portraits of London."
THIS YEAR'S MODEL is packaged with a 28-page booklet that includes rare photos and printed song lyrics.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions: Elvis Costello (vocals, guitar); Steve Nieve (keyboards); Bruce Thomas (bass); Pete Thomas (drums).
Additional personnel: Mick Jones (guitar); Davey Payne (saxophone).
Producer: Nick Lowe.
Reissue producers: Gary Stewart, Val Jennings.
Recorded between August 1977 and October 1978. Originally released on Columbia (35331). Includes liner notes by Elvis Costello.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals, guitar); Elvis Costello; Mick Jones (guitar); Davey Payne (saxophone); Steve Nieve (keyboards); Bruce Thomas (bass guitar); Pete Thomas (drums, drum).
Recording information: Basing Street Studios (1977-1978); Eden Studios, London, England (1977-1978); Leicester University, England (1977-1978); Warner Theater, Washington DC (1977-1978); Waterloo Studios, Sydney, Australia (1977-1978).
Photographers: Roberta Bayley; Chris Gabrin.
For his second album, Elvis Costello fine-tuned his aesthetic by abandoning the California studio cat accompanists of his debut for the more aggressive, quirky and very British Attractions, who would define EC's sound over the next several years. Where MY AIM IS TRUE highlighted Costello's rootsy influences (the Band, etc.), THIS YEAR'S MODEL wholeheartedly embraces the "new wave" out-with-the-old mindset, favoring tightly wound ferocity over back-porch-isms.
Irresistibly catchy, in a twitchy, neurotic, white-knuckled way, THIS YEAR'S MODEL is Costello at his edgiest. The classic "Pump It Up" pummels the listener with garage-band organ, pounding drums, and HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED-style ranting. "Radio, Radio" turned into something of an anti-authoritarian anthem for Costello. The snaky guitar and reggae-tinged drums of "I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea" complement his verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown vocal performance nicely. Come to think of it, so does nearly everything else here.