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The Boy Named If Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

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  • Summary: The latest full-length release from Elvis Costello And The Imposters features a guest appearance from Nicole Atkins.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jan 12, 2022
    100
    Sublimely crafted, incredibly well-played, there are all the reference points, yet it never sounds like a composite of old glories. The intelligence, urgency and immediacy of his 32nd album are a most welcome surprise.
  2. 90
    While everything here echoes its maker's past, it all sounds new. ... The Boy Named If (And Other Children's Stories) is excellent. [Feb 2022, p.78]
  3. Jan 12, 2022
    80
    The tail-end of The Boy Named If finds Costello suddenly back in crooner mode with the soft-shoe swing of “Trick Out the Truth” and the moonstruck “Mr. Crescent.” Both tracks are quietly exquisite and provide a comedown from the adrenaline-fueled highs of the album’s first half. They underscore the ways in which The Boy Named If is as complete and often thrilling as anything Costello has recorded in years.
  4. Mojo
    Jan 12, 2022
    80
    The most energised performance Costello has committed to record in a long time and - despite his protestations that The Imposters are an entirely different band - his most classic Attractions-like album since 1994's Brutal Youth. [Feb 2022, p.83]
  5. Jan 19, 2022
    80
    The Imposters have never sounded better on record -- and they've never sounded more like the Attractions, either, which isn't entirely a coincidence -- and that helps give The Boy Named If its infectious kick: it may feel like an old-fashioned Elvis Costello album, but it sounds entirely fresh.
  6. Jan 12, 2022
    78
    With The Boy Named If, Costello and The Imposters show they are still capable of kicking each other under the table at the restaurant, showing their fangs to the manager when they’ve been told to leave.
  7. Jan 14, 2022
    70
    The Boy Named If, has a lot in common with Hey Clockface, whether it be the four noticeably weaker tracks or the similarly bloated 52-minute runtime. ... What does work about The Boy Named If, like any other Costello album, is the songwriting. ... When The Boy Named If hits, and it mostly does, it gives us a Costello Halloween song and yet another track about a waitress who looks like an actress, two things that are not easy to pull off. Costello is still an artist to watch.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jan 17, 2022
    10
    A work of genius. I suppose some my call
    It a “return to form”. Personally I think he’s been on red hot fork for 45 years so what do I know?
  2. Jan 18, 2022
    10
    This is a cracking album, full of melodic invention, great hooks, biting lyrics, fine musicianship and caustic wit. As always with Costello,This is a cracking album, full of melodic invention, great hooks, biting lyrics, fine musicianship and caustic wit. As always with Costello, there is compassion and humanity to be found, but not easily or without the trials and tribulations of life’s many complexities. Or more simply put, 12 great pop songs delivered by people who know what they are doing. Expand