While there’s little wrong with any of the cuts, the album in its entirety can feel a little half-baked. An extra push could have made this Williams' defining work.
This is pop music for the mature listener; easy to consume, enjoyable enough, but flimsy and a little watered down compared to Cocker's work with Pulp.
There is a remarkable confidence to the record that you wouldn’t usually expect from a debut, which is a testament to Costello’s immense musical capabilities.
Hushed, husky Turner monologues drift over sophisticated arrangements with retro sheens. The album basks in the seedy buzz of a make-believe underworld.
Pulp nail the pop/rock formula to near perfection. The themes aren’t necessarily cheerful, yet the album sounds like a celebration from beginning to end.
The shift away from skeletal guitars is welcome, but Baker’s strength does not lie in expansive arrangements. The songs sound like they’ve been developed for arenas, which is a strange paradox.