Elvis Costello’s third album, Armed Forces, is a masterpiece of new wave pop. It’s a dense and ambitious work, but it’s also highly accessible and full of memorable songs. The album’s production is lush and textured, and Costello’s songwriting is at its peak.
The album opens with the title track, a blistering indictment of the military-industrial complex. It’s followed by the catchy and upbeat “Accidents Will Happen,” one of Costello’s most popular singles. Other highlights on the album include the reggae-tinged “Two Little Hitlers,” the atmospheric “Oliver’s Army,” and the poignant “Party Girl.”
Throughout the album, Costello’s lyrics are sharp and witty, and his melodies are infectious. He sings about love, loss, politics, and social commentary, often with a cynical twist. Costello’s band, The Attractions, provides excellent support, with their tight rhythms and jangly guitars.
Armed Forces is a landmark album in new wave and pop music. It’s a must-have for any fan of Costello’s work, and it’s also a great introduction to his music for those who are new to him.