4.2: Elvis Costello and the Attractions – All This Useless Beauty (1996)


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The end of a road can take on many different forms. Sometimes, the road branches off in two or more directions. Sometimes, it’s a dead end. At other times, that road is shrouded in mist with no road signs to indicate what’s ahead. In any of these situations, you have to decide on what to do next to the best of your ability. At the end of his university career, Rob faced the end of a road, and the end of an era while the way forward became suddenly uncertain. During that time, Elvis Costello and the Attractions’ 1996 record All This Useless Beauty was his soundtrack, an album replete with tales of uncertainty, ambiguity, disappointment, and complicated shadows to say the least. How did this inform his perspective at the time? What does he and the rest of the Deeper Cuts trio make of the album all these years later? Join us for our second episode in our fourth season to discover whether it’s beauty resonated or turned out to be useless after all.

Our Spotify Playlist will have the albums we’re looking at this season, along with the songs from our COVID Sessions earlier this year.

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