Elvis Costello returned to the Attractions as quickly as he abandoned them, hiring the band and old producer Nick Lowe to record Blood & Chocolate, his second record in the span of one year. Where King of America was a stripped-down roots rock affair, Blood & Chocolate is a return to the harder rock of This Year's Model. Occasionally, there are hints of country and folk, but the majority of the album is straight-ahead rock & roll: the opener, "Uncomplicated," only has two chords. The main difference between the reunion and the Attractions' earlier work is the tone -- This Year's Model was tense and out of control, whereas Blood & Chocolate is controlled viciousness. "Tokyo Storm Warning," "I Hope You're Happy Now," and "I Want You" are the nastiest songs he has ever recorded, both lyrically and musically -- Costello snarls the lyrics and the Attractions bash out the chords. Blood & Chocolate doesn't retain that high level of energy throughout the record, however, and loses momentum toward the end of the album. Still, it's a lively and frequently compelling reunion, even if it is a rather mean-spirited one.