Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I've got a lot of respect for Elvis Costello. I'm not the hugest fan, but I have to admire that he follows his muse, and never takes the easy path. He still has the fire. I have said this before, but I think I can be a bit more objective about his newer material because his '70s and '80s stuff wasn't the soundtrack to my life.

I definitely dig his new album, National Ransom.   I've read that some people are calling this a "bluegrass" album.  I think that might be a fitting way to describe his last one (last year's Secret, Profane and Sugarcane), although both albums were produced by T-Bone Burnett. but this one sort of splits the difference between that album and the previous one, 2008's Momofuku. It has elements of garage rock and but a rootsier more country or rustic feel. The musicians on the album are the guys from The Sugarcanes (from his last album) and The Imposters (his go-to rock band these days, 2/3 are former Attractions). He still rocks: the title track is as good as "American Gangster Time" which I rate as one of his finest moments.  But on other songs, it feels like he is still discovering new things to try, and three decades into his career, that's pretty cool. 

I had the opportunity to watch him do a solo acoustic performance at my place of work, which was really cool. I don't think he does that too often. Anyway, here's his solo acoustic - but rocking - version of the very timely "National Ransom."

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