Elvis Costello / Elvis Costello & the Attractions

Little Atoms

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One in a series of four EPs meant to increase sales of All This Useless Beauty featuring unreleased tracks and remixes. "Little Atoms," the album version, would have made a good single; moody, electronic, simple in melody (lifted from the French national anthem), it sounds like an update of "Green Shirt." Two live tracks, a solo acoustic "Just About Glad" and a Steve Nieve-led "Why Can't a Man Stand Alone?," appear on the Costello and Nieve live box set. Only "Almost Ideal Eyes," a song written for David Crosby and recorded but dropped for All This Useless Beauty, makes its first appearance here, a showcase for Costello's range and his penchant for abrupt tempo and style changes. It may be too clever for its own good, and that explains why it surfaces here. (All four EPs feature this track, in a fit of marketing overkill).

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