Still the King

"It's Time," a twisted rewrite of the Drifters' 1960 soul hit "This Magic Moment," unfolds with less clamor than "Shadows," but despite its lightly shuffling hip-hop beat the song is no less acrimonious. Arguably the most forthright song of Costello's career, "It's Time," more than anything else on All This Useless Beauty, marks a return to what the man used to do so well A turn hate and scorn into tough and angry rock and roll. Moving from first to third person, Costello sketches out the necessity of an impending parting of romantic ways, and the venom in his words is unmistakable: "This magic moment concluding our fate/But if you do have to leave me/Who will I have left to hate?"

Like a valentine scrawled on the back of a hand grenade, "It's Time" and All This Useless Beauty announce in no uncertain terms that, after too long wandering around the landscape of his pretentious concerns, Elvis has entered the building.

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