Look Now , October 2018

Pretty self-explanatory
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:44 pm

Parts of "I Let the Sun Go Down" remind me of "The Puppet has Cut His String," especially his voice and shreds of the melody/melancholy.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:50 pm

https://variety.com/2018/music/news/elv ... 202977011/

Album Review: Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ ‘Look Now’

Recording with his band the Imposters for the first time in 10 years, the rocker doesn't aim for the raging power of their live shows, but a sumptuous combination of '60s pop and dramatic musical theater.

Somewhere along the way — well, actually, we can pinpoint the time: about 10 years ago — Elvis Costello went from being rock’s most prolific great recording artist to its least prolific. (No, we’re not counting Steve Perry in this.) That’s how we reconcile two seemingly irreconcilable numbers, one of them being that “Look Now” is his 31st album and the other being that he’s only released one full-length record since 2010. It’s not that he’s actually disappeared off the radar; it’s that he was effectively trading in studio time for exploring his existing repertoire on the road, where he was anything but MIA. His annual shows with the Imposters (the successor to his seminal backing band the Attractions) have been furious affairs in which Costello only seemed to be using his 60s to speed up, quite literally. For those 150 minutes or so a night, seeming to average about 150 bpm, the foursome could easily convince you they were the world’s greatest rock and roll band. So maybe a return to the studio meant they’d be trying to channel all that ridiculous energy onto a record?

Far from it. On “Look Now,” Costello and the Imposters are the world’s greatest pit band. That’s said knowing that it may come off as an insult to non-theater geeks, or to the contingent of fans who didn’t wait patiently all these years just to get what sound like excerpts from an unproduced Off Broadway musical. But it’s meant as a raging endorsement of Costello’s rage-free side. So many of his finest recordings, from “The Long Honeymoon” to “God Give Me Strength,” have had an intimacy to the music and a “We join this narrative already in progress” quality to the storytelling that could fool you into thinking they were show tunes, plucked from the second act of some particularly naturalistic piece of musical theater. In the case of “Look Now,” a few are just that.

Costello has spent much of his discography’s “missing years” working on yet-unproduced shows, including a collaboration with pal Burt Bacharach that would have shaped their “Painted From Memory” joint album into a full evening of drama. Rather than let those songs languish in the elusive search for investors, he’s pulled a couple for “Look Now,” and thrown in some other numbers he’s performed over the years but never recorded — like a two-decades-old co-write with Carole King — for what is in part a collection of what friends of the theater used to call trunk songs.

If you’re not a musicals guy or gal, or if you’re part of the vocal minority in the Costello fandom that thought the “Painted From Memory” album was a slow, overdramatic slog beaten down by too much vibrato, I’m probably not making “Look Now” sound like much fun. It is. The album is on the elegant side, to be sure, but it’s elegance with a distinct pulse, as the Imposters lean into soulful swing and Costello avoids the outright belting that you either loved or didn’t in the ’90s to do the most nuanced cooing and yelping of his career.

And if you’re not particularly attuned to his aptitude for pop opera, there are a dozen other influences here you’d notice first. A lot of them are from the 1960s. Motown-Tamla is the template for “Unwanted Number,” among the songs that have the performer embracing female background vocals for one of the very few times of his career. “I Let the Sun Go Down,” a breezy tune about the decline of the British empire, features strings and French horn and has strong whiffs of both Ray Davies and the Beatles, as if Costello wanted to prophetically pay homage to the recently deceased Geoff Emerick, who worked on some of the baroque stuff by the Fabs as well as Elvis’ own “Imperial Bedroom.” “Suspect My Tears” is vintage ’60s easy-listening-R&B at its catchy finest, fooling you into thinking you’re listening to a weirdly paranoid lost Bobby Goldsboro song before Costello’s falsetto reminds you he’s a Bobby Womack guy through and through. In the liner notes, he mentions his satisfaction when someone in the studio invoked the Fifth Dimension, and he wryly refers to a vocal chorale he formed with his late-middle-age associates as “the Jackson 65.”

Meanwhile, the still-living specter of Bacharach hangs over some of the songs he had nothing to do with, like “Why Won’t Heaven Help Me,” which threatens to turn into “I Say a Little Prayer” at any moment. Costello can certainly match or even outdo Bacharach when it comes to weird build-ups of pop chord progressions that you don’t entirely wrap your brain around until the fourth listen. To that end, you could read even the songs that don’t sound anything like his mentor as a kind of Burt response.

Lyrically, Costello is less about wordplay these days. You’ll find some of that in the way he makes the title of “Under Lime” allude to cocktail garnishments and burial practices. But the 2018 Costello is more into poetry than punnery, and these 12 songs are full of moving moments, even though they’re nearly all character sketches. It’s his most female album ever; at least five of the songs are narrated by a woman character. “Unwanted Number” (assignment writing from the 1994 “Grace of My Heart” soundtrack he’s just gotten around to recording himself) is from the point of view of a pregnant teenager vacillating between boldness and shame. Two songs from the stalled Bacharach musical, “Don’t Look Now” and “He’s Given Me Things,” catch a painter’s subject in the first flush of flattery over serving as a muse and her eventual return to his studio after she’s become a wealthy man’s bride. In “Stripping Paper,” a divorcée scrapes off wallpaper, exposing the pencil growth charts of an estranged daughter and the old patterns against which she and her ex threw themselves in the throes of passion. Any of these songs beg to be heard sung by a woman, in or out of the theater. Getting to hear them sung by one of rock’s most sensitive and passionate male vocalists isn’t bad, while we wait.

If you like guitars, of course, you are SOL — or at least if you want to hear the garage-y sound that Costello does so well on tour and was doing on record as recently as the 10-year-old “Momofuku.” Pianist Steve Nieve is the driver here, and not even the Nieve of Vox-crazed days but a nimble, controlled accompanist; Pete Thomas, a brilliantly bashy drummer, is doing a lot of tasteful rim-shot percussion. But ornate doesn’t have to mean fussy. The guys who made “Pump It Up” merit even more of our admiration for having spent these decades learning how to masterfully dial it down. And Costello? It’s so funny to be seeing him, after all this time, making a great cake of an album that doesn’t really sound that much like any of the 30 before it.
Last edited by sweetest punch on Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby invisible Pole » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:55 pm


Elvis Costello had already taken a few steps from the "angry young man" persona that dominated his first two albums by the time he began work on 1982's Imperial Bedroom, but that was the disc where his evolution from brash upsetter to gifted pop craftsman began in earnest. In 2017, Costello staged a concert tour in which he re-imagined the songs from that LP, and while that may or may not have put those tunes and their style back into his mind, 2018's Look Now certainly is an extension of the mature and literate pop songwriting that he first fully embraced in that material. Look Now often feels like a cross between Imperial Bedroom and Painted from Memory, Costello's 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, and not just because Bacharach co-wrote three tracks with Costello. (Another pop tunesmith in the classic tradition, Carole King, also helped compose one of the tunes, "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter.") Look Now isn't rock & roll so much as it's pop that blends the craft of classic Brill Building tunes of the '60s with the narrative maturity of classic Broadway musicals and the sort of ballads that were once the purview of classic jazz vocalists. If you're the sort of Costello fan who lives in hope that he's going to make another This Year's Model or Blood & Chocolate someday, Look Now will not be your cup of tea. But if you're in the mood for a set of world-class songs dealing with grown-up themes and performed with nuance and a master's touch, you could hardly do better. As a vocalist, Costello's phrasing and ability to inhabit a character has rarely been more assured, so much so that he sings a few songs from the point of view of a female protagonist and makes them work (including "He's Given Me Things" and "Unwanted Number," the latter written for the film Grace of My Heart). The arrangements are artful and evocative, with subtle applications of strings and backing vocalists and pianist Steve Nieve once again reminding us why he's been one of Costello's most valued musical partners since the late '70s. And while there are just enough sharp angles in "Under Lime" and "Mr. & Mrs. Hush" to remind us this is indeed Elvis Costello, Look Now is the work of a man with enough talent to take his muse in any direction he pleases and give us something memorable. In 1978, the Arrogant Young Mr. Costello famously said, "I'm not going to be around to witness my artistic decline," and 40 years on, Look Now proves he's still living up to that claim.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Fishfinger king » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:41 pm

Ymaginatif wrote:
My amazon pre-order (in the UK) won't reach me until next week Tuesday! That's poor ... They must be shipping it from one of their off-shore bases ...

Same with me - I pre-ordered and it said Tuesday delivery, which I was very unhappy about. If you went on this morning and ordered it today, you could get Saturday delivery. I've just emailed them pointing out how ridiculous this is and have got the delivery brought forward to Sunday. You do wonder about the point of paying for Prime membership.

Torn now whether to listen on Spotify or wait for vinyl.
Is that so surprising nowadays?

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby johnanderson » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:55 pm

Fishfinger king wrote:

Torn now whether to listen on Spotify or wait for vinyl.

My birthday was last Sunday. My girls are getting me Look Now as my present. They are under strict instructions to source the vinyl from an independent shop, the excellent Record Collector in Sheffield.

Anyway, you know how students are, I could be waiting another week yet. So, I’m on my third play using Apple Music. I’d succumb to Spotify if I were you, it is a beautiful record.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:25 pm

https://www.hotpress.com/music/album-re ... w-22759548

Album Review: Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Look Now

The Mighty (Like A Rose) Elvis Costello has been known to perform sets plotted by the vagaries of a giant onstage roulette-like wheel, and with his most recent releases genre hopping from New Orleans to Bluegrass, and even a Shakespearean ballet, his albums can seem a bit random and all. This admirable adherence to the muse’s machinations is never less than interesting but talk of a cross between career high points Imperial Bedroom and Painted From Memory in advance of this release was cause for celebration amongst the cognoscenti. The Imposters’ exemplary playing of Bedroom material at recent shows is, as EC has said himself, another reason to be cheerful. Costello has pointed to this as one of the impetuses that got him recording again. Seek out their southern soul shot at ‘Tears Before Bedtime’ as evidence.

Just as on Bedroom, the equivalent of Walton’s storeroom is thrown at the wall to see what sticks – bassoon, piccolo, flute and a mini male voice choir, and that’s just opener ‘Under Lime’. The gorgeous horn and string arrangements, crafted by Costello himself, are all underpinned by the intuitive, song-serving Imposters, most especially keyboard king, Steve Nieve.

The Painted From Memory connection is strong too, Burt Bacharach helping out on several songs the men co-wrote for musicals that never happened, Costello being savvy enough to “always take the precaution of making sure the lyrics made emotional and literal sense without reference to the plot”. As with the recent ‘You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way’ - a best original song Oscar winner in a better, fairer world, the writing of which was another shove to renewed activity - Costello frequently, on future classics like ‘Don’t Look Now’, ‘Photographs Can Lie’, ‘Stripping Paper’, and ‘He’s Given Me Things’, adopts a female narrative perspective. That he doesn’t stumble into cliché is testament to his empathic writing prowess. Bacharach isn’t the only legendary songsmith that clocks in either - the tale of a less-than-gay divorcée ‘Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter’ was written with Carole King on a Dublin afternoon a few decades ago.

If this all sounds far too clever for whistling then rest assured, this is a superbly strong suite of songs, with melodies that lodge in the brain like toffee on teeth. Homburgs off to the revitalised rockin’ polymath, this is fit to be filed alongside those aforementioned cast-iron classics.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby And No Coffee Table » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:37 pm

bronxapostle wrote:Might i ask here

ARE THERE 2 DIFFERENT VINYL VERSIONS? I happily have a $19.19 one scheduled to arrive the 17th. But, i now see one for $23 at amazon which alleges the four bonus cuts. AM I AWAITING THE STANDARD 12 TRACK VERSION AND MUST NOW PURCHASE AGAIN FOR THE BONUS SONGS??? thanks, ba

There are three vinyl versions at Amoeba in L.A.:

1. single LP with 12 tracks
2. "deluxe edition" - double LP with 16 tracks
3. "indie record store exclusive deluxe edition" - double LP with 16 tracks on translucent red vinyl

ln1.jpg (53.33 KiB) Viewed 289782 times
ln2.jpg (75.09 KiB) Viewed 289782 times
ln3.jpg (72.46 KiB) Viewed 289782 times

The bonus tracks on options 2 and 3 are the same as the deluxe CD.

There's also a translucent green vinyl version — another double LP with the same 16 tracks — available on EC's website.

And there may or may not be a UK version with a different set of bonus tracks.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:30 am

Steve on Facebook got this swag -


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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:36 am

https://www.ft.com/content/dee3cf1a-cb5 ... ad351828ab

Q&A with musician Elvis Costello

by Hester Lacey , 12 October 2018

‘I never had any ambition. One thing led to another’

Elvis Costello, 64, released his debut album, My Aim is True, in 1977. His subsequent albums include Armed Forces, Get Happy!!, Imperial Bedroom and Punch the Clock. His best-known singles include “Alison”, “Oliver’s Army”, “ Shipbuilding”, “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea” and “Watching the Detectives”. He won a Grammy, with Burt Bacharach, in 1998 for “I Still Have That Other Girl” and his 2003 song “Scarlet Tide”, co-written with T-Bone Burnett for Cold Mountain, was nominated for an Oscar.

What was your childhood or earliest ambition?

To be a coalman. When I was a lad, coal was still delivered to my nana’s street in Birkenhead. I loved the smell and, I suspect, the taste of anthracite.

Private school or state school? University or straight into work?

St Edmund’s RC primary school in Whitton, Archbishop Myers Secondary Modern in Hounslow and Saint Francis Xavier’s Bilateral in Liverpool. I try not to read anything personal into the fact that both of my secondary schools changed their names, one shortly after I left and the other just after I joined. I’ve worked since I was 17.

Who was or still is your mentor?

Harold and Sylvia Hikins were — and are — poets and writers who hosted readings and musical evenings at which my first musical partner, Allan Mayes, and I tried out our songs, when we were working elsewhere for £1.50 a night and very little encouragement.

How physically fit are you?

This being a financial organ, I have to tell you that I feel like a million dollars.

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Once upon a time, I would have said ambition without talent was worthless. Now I’m not so sure.

How politically committed are you?

There have always been politicians who should be committed but I’ve never felt at home at parties.

What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?

“If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” by Robert Johnson.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

I like to get to the end of the line with the least distress. I would rather travel by water than by air. I can swim, I can’t fly.

In what place are you happiest?

When I’m all at sea.

What ambitions do you still have?

I never had any ambition — one thing led to another.

What drives you on?


What is the greatest achievement of your life so far?

That I am here at all.

What do you find most irritating in other people?

I don’t know about all the “other people” but the sneering confidence of some people in “their truth” is mildly vexing.

If your 20-year-old self could see you now, what would he think?

“Wow, he’s very far away.”

Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had?

My reverse telescope.

What is the greatest challenge of our time?

Fiddling while Rome burns. There aren’t enough fiddles, there aren’t enough bows and soon there won’t be enough pines to burn.

Do you believe in an afterlife?

Yes, but not in the storybook sense.

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?

In the wise words of Sir Nigel Tufnel, “It goes up to 11.”

Elvis Costello’s new album, “Look Now”, is out on Concord

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby johnfoyle » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:40 am

From store to turntable - first listen exceeding all expectations.






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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Hawksmoor » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:14 am

I'm also one of the unlucky who pre-ordered from Amazon and have now been told Tuesday (seriously? FFS). Fortunately I am setting off in the next few minutes to spend an alcohol-fuelled lost weekend in Birmingham with a close friend, and he has been able to acquire his copy from HMV Birmingham via the (what many would consider old-fashioned) technique of walking into the shop earlier in the week and asking them to put one on one side for him. Genius.

We've planned this weekend for a long time, and will also listen to the latest offerings from Paul McCartney and Paul Weller (both bought them and deliberately not played them yet), perhaps doing a track-by-track competition. Although I don't think we're in any doubt about the eventual winner.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:26 am

http://www.maxazine.nl/2018/10/13/elvis ... -look-now/

Elvis Costello – Look Now

Het was een bewogen jaar voor Elvis Costello. Een kwaadaardige tumor werd weliswaar succesvol verwijderd, zijn herstel echter duurde langer dan verwacht en dat resulteerde erin dat Costello zijn Europese tour moest afzeggen. In november en december staat er een tour gepland in de VS en Canada die gelukkig wel door kan gaan. Het gaat dus de goede kant op.

Vlak voor de start van de tournee kwam vrijdag zijn nieuwe album ‘Look Now‘ uit. Een album waarover Costello zelf zegt dat het zijn intentie was om materiaal te schrijven in de stijl van ‘Imperial Bedroom’ uit 1982 en ‘Painted from Memory’ uit 1998, welke een samenwerking was met Burt Bacharach. Bacharach heeft dan ook meegeschreven aan een aantal nummers op ‘Look Now’ en speelt zelfs piano op ‘Don’t look Now’ en ‘Photographs can Lie’. Naast Bacharach is er ook een samenwerking met Carole King op de plaat terecht gekomen ‘Burnt Sugar is So Bitter’.

Veel van het materiaal op het album was al jaren onderdeel van de liveshows van Costello. ‘Unwanted Number’ bijvoorbeeld heeft hij in 1996 geschreven voor de film Grace of My Heart, maar was nog nooit eerder opgenomen. Op het album speelt hij weer samen met The Imposters en dat is een zeer goede keuze geweest. Alles komt samen op dit album; Het is weer een echt Costello-album geworden. De intentie die Costello had heeft hij zeker waar gemaakt. De nummers klinken alsof ze zo uit de jaren ’80 zijn gestapt. Het is weer een echt soulachtige plaat geworden met een minder geforceerd klinkende Costello. Zo klinkt ‘Mr. & Mrs Hush’, compleet met trompet en al, als een heerlijk soulvol nummer, waarbij de overgang naar ‘Photographs can Lie’ niet eens vervelend is. Een van de betere nummers op het album, mede door het fijne pianospel van Burt Bacharach. Sommige passages in het nummer doen denken aan ‘My Funny Valentine’.

De afgelopen jaren is Costello vaak bekritiseerd dat hij te veel afstand nam van zijn publiek en zijn verleden, echter met dit album probeert hij de fans die op afstand zijn gekomen weer terug te krijgen. Ieder nummer op het album is een parel op zichzelf, en na een aantal keer luisteren komt het album echt tot leven. Eindelijk weer een sterk album van Elvis Costello. (8/10) (Concord Records)
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:28 am


Elvis Costello & The Imposters
Look Now

Dat was even schrikken, het optreden van Elvis Costello deze zomer in de tuin van Paleis Soestdijk. Aan inzet en goed repertoire geen gebrek, maar de zanger/gitarist was fysiek duidelijk niet in goeden doen. Daags erna werd duidelijk dat hij kort daarvoor was geopereerd en te snel weer aan het werk was gegaan. De rest van de Europese tournee werd afgeblazen.

Inmiddels is de 63-jarige singer-songwriter weer aan het werk: hij doet volop promotie en er staat een nieuwe tour door de VS gepland. Look Now is Costello’s eerste album in vijf jaar. En waar hij jarenlang voornamelijk samenwerkte met grootheden als Allen Toussaint, Bill Frisell en Anne Sofie von Otter is de begeleiding nu weer in handen van The Imposters, met daarin zijn oude maatjes Steve Nieve (piano) en Pete Thomas (drums) uit The Attractions. Look Now heeft de brede opzet van platen als Imperial Bedroom en Spike, wat inhoudt dat er een veelheid aan stijlen en klankkleuren voorbijkomt. Een aantal songs is al wat ouder. Het fraaie Unwanted Number was in 1996 al te horen in de film Grace Of My Heart. Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter schreef hij eind jaren negentig met Carole King. Ook inhoudelijk trekt Costello lijnen uit het verleden door. Openingsnummer Under Lime vertelt hoe het verder is gegaan met Jimmie Standing In The Rain van National Ransom. In drie nummers werkt hij opnieuw samen met de inmiddels 90-jarige Burt Bacharach. Daarvan is met name Don’t Look Now een mooie aanvulling op hun oeuvre. Andere positief opvallende songs zijn Stripping Paper en de bossanova Why Won’t Heaven Help Me, een van de weinige songs waarin de Zuid-Amerikaanse achtergrond van producer Sebastian Krys de ruimte krijgt. Diezelfde Krys is er echter wel in geslaagd de ideeënstroom van Elvis Costello zo te stroomlijnen dat Look Now ondanks de complexe opzet een van zijn toegankelijker platen is.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:30 am

https://www.volkskrant.nl/cultuur-media ... ~bd259c3b/

Look Now is eindelijk weer een echt goede Costello (vier sterren)

Acht jaar geleden, na het verschijnen van zijn niet heel memorabele album National Ransom liet Elvis Costello weten genoeg te hebben van het maken van platen.

Daar kwam hij een paar jaar later weliswaar op terug toen hij met zijn hiphopband het curieuze maar sterke album Wise Up Ghost uitbracht. Maar een echt Costello-popalbum van het niveau dat hij in de jaren tachtig plaat na plaat zo moeiteloos haalde, dat lijkt een eeuwigheid geleden.

Hij riep zijn aloude Attractions weer bij elkaar, die vanwege een andere bassist al jaren The Imposters heten. Samen verzorgen ze op Look Now een enigszins orkestraal geluid dat een van Costello’s betere platen in herinnering roept: Imperial Bedroom (1982).

Costello klinkt vitaal, en zingt minder geforceerd ‘mooi’ dan op de meeste platen vanaf Painted from Memory, dat hij in 1998 met Burt Bacharach uitbracht.

Die samenwerking krijgt op Look Now een vervolg in drie liedjes, terwijl het sterke Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter geschreven is met Carole King. Maar het is Costello zelf die nadrukkelijk zijn stempel op de plaat drukt. De weelderige arrangementen klinken soulvol, het wijdlopige pianospel van Steve Nieve krijgt weer alle ruimte en we horen in I Let the Sun Go Down een goedgemutste Costello (64) zelfs even een fraai stukje kunstfluiten.

Ook de teksten halen het niveau van zijn beste werk van bijna veertig jaar geleden. Ongelukkige huwelijken en overspel worden door hem dit keer veelal vanuit het perspectief van de vrouw (of dochter) belicht. Minder woordspelerig en met meer empathie, lijkt het.

Er zit eindelijk weer een beetje rust in zijn stem, die minder tot voor hem onhaalbare notenreeksen en tempowisselingen wordt gedwongen. Look Now is eindelijk weer een echt goede Costello.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:34 am


Alleen Elvis blijft bestaan

Een plaat van Elvis Costello en zijn maatjes van The Imposters, de eerste sinds Momofuku uit 2008, en dat amper een paar maanden nadat een agressieve maar vroeg ontdekte kanker hem verplichtte om zijn tournee af te breken: dat is goed nieuws om het weekend mee te starten.

Nog beter nieuws is dat Look now een dijk van een plaat is. Het lijkt wel alsof El en zijn Bedriegers – Steve Nieve op keyboards, Davey Faragher op bas en Pete Thomas op drums – alles wilden laten horen dat ze in huis hadden.

Dat is benijdenswaardig veel. De opener ‘Under lime’ alleen combineert de pompende ritmes van This year’s model uit 1978 met een blazerssectie die uit Sgt Pepper’s van The Beatles had kunnen komen, of uit ‘Land van Maas & Waal’ van Boudewijn de Groot. Een koortje ‘pa-pa-pa’t’ erop los. En Costello zingt een paar regels zoals Alex Turner tegenwoordig zingt, als een verlopen crooner in een hoekje van het casino. Geloof ons of niet, maar samen klinkt dat geweldig.

‘Don’t look back’ is een pianoballad die van Carole King had kunnen zijn, maar van Burt Bacharach is. ‘Burnt sugar is so bitter’ is wél van King, maar klinkt als Steely Dan, toch de stukjes waarin de achtergrondzangeressen sarcastisch gaan koeren. Zij zijn het beste aan het nummer dat niet goed weet waarheen; misschien liet Costello het daarom twintig jaar in de kast liggen.

Burt Bacharach

In de hoesnotities zegt Costello dat hij de emotie van Painted from memory op het album wilde, de plaat die hij in 1998 met Bacharach maakte, en de veelzijdigheid van zijn meesterwerk Imperial bedroom uit 1982.

De toetsen van Bacharach en Steve Nieve domineren op de plaat, al laat Costello in ‘I let the sun go down’ toch één keer een wonderlijke fuzz-gitaar horen – zo’n gitaar die trompettert als een verkouden olifant. Die solo zit tussen de meest luxueuze strijkers die we in tijden hebben gehoord en samen vormen ze een wat katerige harmonie die alweer op Sgt Peppers had kunnen staan.

Het nummer zit in het gouden middendeel van de plaat, tussen de verende soul van ‘Unwanted number’ en Mr & Ms Hush’, dat met zijn blazers en de ‘oeh-oehs’ van Costello en Faragher een soort Motowngevoel heeft. Daarna mag Bacharach aan de piano gaan zitten voor het ingetogen ‘Photographs can lie’. En dáárna komt ‘Dishonor the stars’, een onweerstaanbaar popliedje. Dat is een reeks van vijf topnummers die mindere goden over twee albums zouden uitsmeren.

We vergeven Costello daarom dat hij tussen die musical-achtige overdaad ‘Suspect my tears’ heeft laten staan, een nummer dat voor ons geestesoog elke keer het beeld oproept van mensen die in glimmend pak een showbizztrap afdalen. Al te musical moet het nu ook niet worden. In de teksten treuren personages over gemiste kansen zoals alleen Costello ze kan laten treuren. En in de laatste nummers is de rek er wat uit. Maar Costello maakt hier muziek met de energie van de late jaren 70 en de instrumentale ambitie van de sixties, zonder ooit in de retro-val te trappen. Die kanker heeft hem verdorie nog scherper gemaakt.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:38 am

https://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/ ... -costello/

Keith Bruce: The enduring popularity of Elvis Costello

WHEN Elvis Costello was at the height of his early pop stardom, he veered off-piste to Nashville to make the poorly-reviewed, but nonetheless hit-yielding and enduringly popular, 1981 record, Almost Blue, the sleeve of which carried the sticker: "WARNING! This album contains country & western music and may produce a radical reaction in narrow minded people".

It has always been thus with EC, so that keeping up with his career trajectory has been an often exhausting, but always rewarding, undertaking. Whether on his own, with his regular backing group, or increasingly in collaboration with other great musicians he admired, Costello was forever turning a new page and setting off in a fresh direction. So the immediately astonishing thing about the disc he released yesterday, Look Now, his first of new material in five years and the first with his own band in a decade, is that it sounds exactly like an Elvis Costello album.

For devotees like myself, that comes as a bit of a shock – initially even a slight disappointment. The UK’s greatest living songwriter taking us somewhere we have already been? What’s that all about?

Costello’s own explanation is that revisiting some of his older material – and there have been shows focused on his debut My Aim is True and, more recently, the Geoff Emerick-produced Imperial Bedroom – in the company of The Imposters, settled in his mind that his band deserved to be captured on record at the top of their form. That will be a part of the reason, but an attentive listen to Look Now suggests a deeper agenda.

Its opening track, Under Lime, continues the story of alter-ego vaudeville star Jimmie, who was “Standing in the Rain” on 2010’s National Ransom. The chorus runs “It’s a long way down from that high horse you’re on/It’s a long way back as you cover your tracks” and readers of Costello’s autobiography, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, may recognise the tone. Three tracks further on, the home-DIY metaphor of Stripping Paper is an explicit reference to the process of revealing layers of personal and family history. The fact that lyrics here also employ the sort of word-play that annoyed some people on his early records (“he thought of a drummer/And considered a snare” puns Under Lime) matches a musical palette that is festooned in colours that have shone through past triumphs. There is little audible country music influence on the sound of Look Now, but plenty from the sixties pop/soul that was the foundation of the albums on either side of Almost Blue. In fact two of the songsmiths of that era, Burt Bacharach and Carole King, have co-writing credits on new songs here. The King collaboration, Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter, is also garlanded with a classic Steve Nieve piano figure, interwoven with a horn line that instantly recalls Impatience, the superb bonus track that concludes Costello’s 2003 love-letter to his Canadian wife Diane Krall, North.

While I Let the Sun Go Down echoes late studio triumphs by The Beatles, as engineered by the recently-deceased Emerick, the Bacharach/Costello songs are two of the album’s briefer vignettes and slightly outshone by Suspect My Tears, which may be Costello’s own best tilt at adding to the catalogue he first paid tribute to in his late 70s cover of I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.

With this new set, Elvis Costello has made an album that is a personal take on pop’s current obsession with its own back pages, perhaps partly fuelled by the intimation of mortality that was his own recent health scare. The album’s title is not Don’t Look Now, which is one of the new Bacharach collaborations it contains, but the more positive and forward-facing Look Now, reminiscent of Costello’s instruction to his male fans when he was forced to cancel some European dates earlier this year: Gentlemen, get yourselves checked.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:45 am

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/a ... k-Now.html

ADRIAN THRILLS reviews Costello & The Imposters new album Look Now

Verdict: Quality Stuff from a master
Rating: 5 stars

Never one to shy away from adventure, Elvis Costello has spent the past eight years tearing up his original brief.

First he made an album, Wise Up Ghost, with hip-hop band The Roots. Then he assembled a supergroup with Marcus Mumford, to create fresh tunes for an unearthed box of old Bob Dylan lyrics.

Throw in the time spent writing his hefty autobiography and it seems that the singer born Declan McManus has been trying his best to avoid doing anything that sounds remotely like Elvis Costello — a theory given credence by his dismissal of his 2010 solo effort National Ransom as ‘the end of the line’.

That is now changing, and his 31st album is one of the autumn¿s most pleasant surprises

An impeccably crafted set of melodically strong, lyrically observant songs, Look Now will delight anyone who grew up with 1982’s lush Imperial Bedroom and 1983’s soulful Punch The Clock.

Another key touchstone is Painted From Memory, Costello’s 1998 album with Burt Bacharach. The latter has co-written three poised ballads here (he plays piano on two) and his influence looms large.

With another track penned with Carole King, Look Now is steeped in masterly pop song-writing. Opening track Under Lime sets the bar high. A vivid sketch of an awkward tryst between a fading country singer and a clipboard-toting younger woman in the green room of a hokey American TV show, its scathing lyrics — ‘he whistles out of tune and his words don’t always rhyme’ — are set to an opulent arrangement that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album.

A tangled relationship is to the fore again on the Carole King collaboration, Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter, which depicts a wife on the brink of walking out on a fading marriage.

Elsewhere, Motown pastiche Unwanted Number is written from the perspective of a spurned single mother, and the plaintive Photographs Can Lie, one of several other songs featuring a female protagonist, sees a crestfallen daughter reflecting on the failings of her cheating father.

It’s vintage Costello terrain. These songs don’t quite take the singer, 64, back to the Mr Revenge And Guilt character that inhabited his 1977 debut album My Aim Is True, a record that blended punk anger and classic songwriting, but they pack an almighty emotional punch.

It also helps to have two members of his original backing band, The Attractions, back on board for the first time in a decade.

Keyboardist Steve Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas, augmented by bassist Davey Faragher, now call themselves The Imposters, and their presence adds a reassuringly familiar feel to songs such as blue-eyed soul number Suspect My Tears.

The echoes of Imperial Bedroom are poignant, too. That album was produced by Geoff Emerick, the former Beatles sound engineer who died last week, and Look Now’s intricate arrangements are a timely tribute.

As for Costello — who recorded his vocals while recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous malignancy (a scare he has constantly downplayed by insisting he was ‘extremely lucky’) — it feels good to see him coming full circle to show his true colours again.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:52 am

https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/65619516 ... o-look-now

Elvis Costello Doesn't Want Your Nostalgia, He Wants You To 'Look Now'

For 20 years, Elvis Costello has wanted to make what he calls an uptown pop record with a little swagger. With his latest album, Look Now, out Oct. 12, Costello has done just that by adding unusual combinations of horns and small string groups to his sound. Costello of course has been around for decades, but one thing he didn't want to make was an album that says, "Remember this guy?"

"It's immediately a bad proposition," Costello says. "But unfortunately, that's a lot of the way both record companies and music magazines run the nostalgia business."

Look Now may lack an obvious nostalgia factor, but Costello does return to familiar ground — songs full of rich characters loaded with desire and heartache. One song in particular, "Stripping Paper," exhibits Costello's storytelling prowess. As the song describes, a woman discovers the unfaithful nature of her husband. As a reaction, she tears away a layer of wallpaper in their house to discover the pencil mark on the wall where their daughter was measured — a fleeting symbol of when the couple was happy.

"I'm not trying to tell everybody what every line is supposed to mean, because everybody will hear it differently," Costello says. "I think, particularly with these songs, they're not songs of judgments at all. They just tell the story and you take out of it what you take out of it, depending on your own experience."

There are other nods to Costello's previous work on Look Now — most notably the return of a character named Jimmie, who first appeared in 2010 on Costello's album National Ransom. "Jimmie Standing in the Rain" told the story of an unsuccessful vaudeville singer, left abandoned at a railway station. It seemed that fans would never hear of Jimmie again, but he now makes a return performance in the song "Under Lime."

"I just decided that he would be found, maybe in semi-obscurity," Costello says of bringing Jimmie back. "One of the things about popular music ... is that you smuggle sometimes quite dark ideas past the listener with a bright tune. I truthfully, originally sent this story to a very much more steady and ballad-like tune, and then I realized that it telegraphed the intentions of the song too much."

Much like the sunny deception of his music, Costello was thrown a curve ball this past summer. As he was putting the finishing touches on this album, Costello's doctors found a potentially cancerous malignancy. The musician had to have surgery and cancelled some of his concerts in July as a result.

"Challenges come up in life and you just have to be grateful for the opportunity to do your work the best you can," he says. "And I'm very thankful for the good wishes I received."
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby OnesNamedAlfie » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:55 am

Not everyone had a bad Amazon experience. My copy turned up right on time Friday as promised.

First impressions? More Painted From Memory than Imperial Bedroom, but thankfully not exactly like either (they are two of my favourites, but we never want same again from our man, do we?). At times, it feels like the record much of Goodbye Cruel World could have been if strife had been exchanged for soul. Initial impressions, broad comparisons. All will change as the songs separate and deepen...

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Amazon Schmamazon. I went to good old Fopp (thank god they never abandoned Cambridge) and was delighted to find the deluxe CD for £13 and extra delighted that Record Store Day meant a further 10% off - £11.70 - not bad at all. And the newJohn Grant for £9. Let's hear it for the record stores.

Can't wait to give it a good listen...
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby A rope leash » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:39 pm

I woke this morning with under lime under lime under lime and here it is near noon and still under lime under lime under lime repeating repeating repeat repeating.

Most of the tracks are on YouTube now. I haven't heard any of it on the radio. It isn't Momofuku. But, I didn't hear that on the radio, either.

It comforts me.

It seems as if Elvis has made a pop record. For his parents.

For 1970.

Which means it's for me as well. I grew up with this on the radio. Don't tell me it's not Rock and Roll. It's all of it, the whole scene, pop, funk, Motown...the quality products of the hit-makers. Elvis sees the treasure there.

Thank the sweet Earth it's not a modern pop record.

Why Won't Heaven Help Me is the only tune I really liked on first listen. Seems like he could have radio hits with several of these songs, if he can get the kids to listen...but I don't see it fitting with the "I heart Radio" crowd. The Suspect My Tears video is perhaps a shout to the young set...and I hope they find it as entertaining as I found it bewildering...but really, what format does this fit on? I guess I don't care, because I'm selfish about Elvis. He's too good for the radio.

Getting paid this week look out Elvis here I come...

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Harry Worth » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:46 pm

OnesNamedAlfie wrote:Not everyone had a bad Amazon experience. My copy turned up right on time Friday as promised.

First impressions? More Painted From Memory than Imperial Bedroom, but thankfully not exactly like either (they are two of my favourites, but we never want same again from our man, do we?). At times, it feels like the record much of Goodbye Cruel World could have been if strife had been exchanged for soul. Initial impressions, broad comparisons. All will change as the songs separate and deepen...

Very much my first impression. And it gets better!

As for Amazon: tax dodgers and minimum wage employers I prefer to avoid. Records are for buying in record shops, thank the Lord there are still some around.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:12 am

Looks like radio 2 has missed out on making Elvis album of the week again. That honour goes to Jess Glynne.

I personally love the album I think its his best record in years

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby John » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:17 am

sheeptotheslaughter wrote:Looks like radio 2 has missed out on making Elvis album of the week again. That honour goes to Jess Glynne.

I personally love the album I think its his best record in years

Radio 2 aren't playing any new Elvis songs at all - Unwanted Number was played 3 times a few weeks ago. I think he must have upset someone there. Something like "Why Won't Heaven Help Me?" would sound great on the radio.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:18 am

Totally agree John

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