Look Now: new album announced!

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

Postby OnesNamedAlfie » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:11 am

jardine wrote:"'I Let the Sun Go Down.' Everything about it, from the restrained, poignant vocal," a vocal similar to 'the puppet has cut his strings, i think. great falsetto as well. .


Musically it reminds me of You Tripped At Every Step.

The character portrayed feels like a composite of Britain’s two worst ever PMs - the aforementioned Cameron, and Lord North.

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Fishfinger king
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Fishfinger king » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:30 am

Heats101 wrote:Being churlish Dishonour The Stars and He's Given Me Things are not in the same league as the others but ....time will tell. Just a thought on Mr & Mrs Hush and the comparison theme; to my ears I immediately think of some of the songs on River in Reverse i.e. Elvis's vocal delivery, Davey's? harmonies and the Horns etc.


Totally disagree about Dishonour The Stars and He's Given Me Things - I think they are both great songs and the equal of much else on the album - though I salute you for the correct spelling of Dishonour.

Yes - I see the Mr & Mrs Hush and River in Reverse connection - Six Fingered Man / International Echo territory.

It's great to hear the love for I Let The Sun Go Down -it seems like an odd subject for a song but it totally works and is quite affecting.

Wasn't Diefenbaker the dog in 90s Canadian comedy drama Due South? It used to be one of my wife's favourites.
Is that so surprising nowadays?

Harry Lime
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Harry Lime » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:38 am

cwr wrote:I've reached a place where I know better than to assume that another record will be forthcoming, but one thing I especially love about it is that it certainly doesn't feel like a swan song. This album is the work of an artist working at the top of his craft, with a band that can handle anything he throws at them.
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But for the time being, I am so goddamn delighted by this album, and will be absorbing it for a long, long time. It is a very satisfying album to get to know, as already my feelings about various songs have shifted over the course of the week...



1000% agree with both these statements!
Who put these fingerprints on my imagination?

Poor Deportee
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Poor Deportee » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:17 pm

If you ask me (and no one did) EC has quietly assembled a formidable body of late-career work. NR, WUG, and this record all rank with the best stuff he's ever done, and can stand with any trio of records from any phase of his career.

These, as I see it, are the real fruits of his meandering late '90s/early 2000s. That was an era where he seems to have been searching for new voices, both as a writer and a singer - trying to find paths forward beyond the lacerating negativity of his signature 'Avenging Dork' persona or the anguished confessionalism which required him to 'ruin his life so he could write silly little songs about it.'

The results of that long and rather scholastic effort were decidedly mixed. ATUB is, to my ear, a mostly wan collection. TJL and PFM were strong efforts, but rather monochromatic and with a faintly scholarly earnestness, subsuming EC's distinctive writer's voice under the demands of a self-imposed formalism. The 'comeback' rock record WIWC was one if the worst things he ever perpetrated. Even 'North' and TDM had limitations, as did Momofuku and SPSC. You can't say he was *bad* in this period; some of this stuff was truly great; but he could be decidedly...trying. It brings to mind what Dylan once said about 'having to learn to do consciously what I once did unconsciously.'

What the last three outings give us is an EC who has put together all the lessons of those years into effortless, masterful results. His singing is (while still not all I'd personally like it to be) more tasteful and controlled. His lyics now largely avoid his bipolar traps of either facile cynicism/wordplay or overwrought piousness. Instead they bring a worldliness that combines sharp apercu with an authentic compassion for the human condition. Another way to put it is that he's found the synthesis he was long searching for, achieving a *wisdom* that transcends the limits of his earlier writing, without sacrificing his distinctive authorial voice. And all without the need for self-immolating 'confessionalism.'

It's hard to sustain such a peak period, so who knows what the future will bring. But for my money we are in a golden age of EC artistry. Long may it run.
When man has destroyed what he thinks he owns
I hope no living thing cries over his bones

jardine
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:47 pm

nicely done, p.d.

sweetest punch
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:58 pm

https://focus.knack.be/entertainment/mu ... 79845.html

'Look Now' van Elvis Costello is een dierbare zondagmorgenrevue

We kunnen het net zo goed meteen gezegd hebben: Look Now is een van de sterkste platen uit Elvis Costello's niet bepaald miezerige carrière.

Imperial Bedroom (1982) is dan wel als een bescheiden meesterwerk in het collectieve geheugen gezonken, Elvis Costello vond al die tijd dat het een stuk beter had gekund. Nu Look Now deel uitmaakt van ons huishouden moeten we hem gelijk geven.

Dit werk koekt namelijk niet onnodig samen, hier heersen helderheid en coherentie. Dat is des te markanter aangezien Costello de bouwsteentjes van veel verschillende palletten heeft gegrist: onder de songs zowel oude als nieuwe, alleen of samen geschreven (met popclassicisten Burt Bacharach en Carole King), voor zichzelf of een ander.

Om nog meer licht te werpen op Costello's intenties verwijzen we naar Dusty In Memphis, een tweede spiegel die hij ter referentie had opgehangen. Net als Dusty Springfield bijna vijftig jaar geleden smeedt onze held soul en r&b, Brill Building-pop en orkestrale arrangementen op zo'n voortreffelijke wijze aan elkaar dat u ook Look Now misschien zult willen opsparen voor een dierbare zondagmorgen zonder verdere verplichtingen.

Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter, geschreven met Carole King, heeft alvast goud in de mond. The Imposters swingen met bolle wangen, als om niet te verbleken bij dat vurige dameskoortje en blinkende koperwerk. Ook Unwanted Number zit subtieler en complexer in elkaar dan de doorsneeluisteraar van een popsong durft te verlangen, en wacht evenmin tot aan het refrein om zijn vitaliteit de vrije loop te laten.

Als u Elvis Costello hoog aanslaat vanwege zijn prozaïsche pen, dan zit u met de vele empathische kitchen sink dramas in deze revue gebeiteld. Vergelijken we even vierde nummer Stripping Paper met The Long Honeymoon, dat op Imperial Bedroom dat volgnummer kreeg, en de gelijkenis is treffend: een tranche de vie uit een ongelukkig huwelijk, waarbij de affectie van de schrijver bij de zuchtende eega ligt. Overigens fungeren ook Don't Look Now en Photographs Can Lie als markeerstiften voor de stelling dat Costello geweldige torch songs uit de mouw kan schudden.

Dat alles maakt van Look Now geen onstuimige stap voor- of zijwaarts zoals Elvis Costello er in zijn veertigjarige carrière vaak heeft gezet. Wel is het een vertrouwd klinkende plaat die even elegant als energiek is, geen enkele inzinking kent en waarmee zij die Costello wantrouwen om zijn soms amechtige kraaiengeluid dat vooroordeel kunnen doodknijpen: hij zingt, al zegt hij het zelf, beter dan ooit.
---------------------------------
Google translation:

'Look Now' by Elvis Costello is a dear Sunday morning revue

We might as well have said it right away: Look Now is one of the strongest records from Elvis Costello's not particularly dreadful career.

Imperial Bedroom (1982) has sank into the collective memory as a modest masterpiece, Elvis Costello thought that it could have done a lot better. Now that Look Now is part of our household, we have to agree with him.

This work does not crumble unnecessarily, here brightness and coherence prevail. This is all the more striking since Costello has given the building blocks of many different pallets: among the songs both old and new, written alone or together (with pop classicists Burt Bacharach and Carole King), for themselves or another.

In order to shed even more light on Costello's intentions, we refer to Dusty In Memphis, a second mirror that he had hung for reference. Just like Dusty Springfield, almost fifty years ago, our hero soul and r & b, Brill Building doll and orchestral arrangements forged together in such an excellent way that you might want to save up Look Now for a dear Sunday morning without any further obligations.

Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter, written with Carole King, has gold in the mouth. The Imposters swing with chubby cheeks, like not to fade with that fiery ladies' ear and shiny brass work. Unwanted Number is also more subtle and complex than the average listener of a pop song dares to desire, nor does it wait until the chorus to let his vitality run free.

If you appeal to Elvis Costello because of its prosaic pen, you will be chiseled with the many empathic kitchen sink dramas. We compare the fourth song Stripping Paper with The Long Honeymoon, which received the serial number on Imperial Bedroom, and the resemblance is striking: a tranche of the vie from an unhappy marriage, where the affection of the writer lies with the groaning eega. Incidentally Do not Look Now and Photographs Can Lie act as highlighters for the proposition that Costello can shake off great torch songs.

All of this does not make Look Now an impetuous step forward or sideways, as Elvis Costello often put in his 40-year career. However, it is a familiar sounding record that is as elegant as it is energetic, has no slump, and with which it can distrust that Costello because of his sometimes ruthless crow's noise that can cut that prejudice: he sings, even if he says so himself, better than ever.
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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:15 pm

https://focus.knack.be/entertainment/mu ... 79851.html

Elvis Costello over zijn eerste plaat na de kanker: 'Wat kun je anders doen dan erom lachen?'

Kijk nu: voor het eerst in vijf jaar brengt Elvis Costello (64) nog eens een nieuwe langspeler uit. Toekomstige biografieën zullen Look Now vast neerzetten als de plaat na de kanker. Of anders wel de plaat gemaakt nadat Costello had beweerd klaar te zijn met platen maken. 'Ik heb nooit gedacht dat ik mijn laatste wilsbeschikking aan het opstellen was.'

Op Look Now viert Elvis Costello niet alleen een zoveelste hereniging met zijn trouwe, altijd aanspreekbare combo The Imposters (pianist Steve Nieve, drummer Pete Thomas - beiden al werkzaam in voorloper The Attractions - en bassist Davey Faragher). Ook Burt Bacharach, de doorluchtige, inmiddels negentigjarige songschrijver, wipte even binnen. Dat klinkt misschien alsof onze held krampachtig twee schotels op stokjes tegelijk aan de draai wilde houden. Het tegendeel is waar. Dat Look Now zo'n consistente plaat is, komt doordat Costello niet over één nacht ijs is gegaan.

Elvis Costello: Ik overwoog al sinds 1998 om deze plaat te maken! Meer bepaald al van meteen nadat Burt en ik Painted from Memory hadden uitgebracht. In mijn hoofd zag ik wat ik noem een uptown pop record voor me: funky, een beetje gruizig, forse ritmesectie, orkestraties, verschillende stemmen. Niet luid of rock-'n-roll, wel stevig op de benen. Alleen: in de daaropvolgende jaren kwam er altijd wel iets tussen.

Gaat het afronden van een plaat nog altijd gepaard met trots, of is het gewoon een klus die je kunt afvinken?

Costello: (grijnst) Wat denk je zelf? Voor mij was het zo klaar als pompwater: dit was de plaat die we nú moesten maken. Weet je, ik wist al lang dat The Imposters, die ik mijn beste muzikale vrienden noem, veel meer in hun mars hebben dan wat altijd van hen is verwacht. Alsof die band alleen maar goed was om een zeker gedeelte van mijn repertoire te vertolken. Dat vroege garagegeluid, of hoe moet je het noemen? (spottend) New wave. Terwijl de band met de jaren alleen maar beter is geworden.

Misschien zou je niet zo in je sas zijn geweest als je Look Now twintig jaar geleden al had gemaakt.

Costello: Het zou in elk geval iets anders zijn geworden. Logisch: ik kon nu bogen op twintig jaar extra bagage. Ik had het arrangement van Mr. and Mrs. Hush bijvoorbeeld niet kunnen schrijven als ik geen plaat had gemaakt met Allen Toussaint. Steve Bernstein, de trompetspeler die ook nog met 'A.T.' heeft gewerkt, merkte het meteen aan bepaalde details, een hoornpartij op een bepaalde tel: 'Heb je weer naar hem geluisterd?' (lacht) Wat wil je, wij hebben het privilege gehad hem die dingen te zien doen. Niet zo veel mensen kunnen dat zeggen. Fantastisch, toch?

Er zijn ook niet veel artiesten die al een kwarteeuw lang een song hebben rondslingeren die ze samen met songsmid Carole King hebben geschreven.

Costello: (schertsend) Carole King-nummers verzeilen al wel eens onder de mat, natuurlijk. Maar serieus: in het licht van haar renommee nam ik Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter wel degelijk ernstig. Maar het zou niet hebben gepast op die plaat met Burt. Of op die drie platen die ik voor Deutsche Grammofon heb gemaakt (For the Stars , North en Il Sogno , nvdr.) En evenmin op When I Was Cruel of The Delivery Man en ga zo maar door. Ik heb er telkens wel aan gedacht, hoor. Maar als ik dat nummer recht wilde doen, moest ik geduld oefenen. Dat is niet altijd gelukt, want ik heb het een stuk of wat keren live gespeeld. Uiteraard spraken mensen me er dan steevast op aan, waarna ik schaapachtig moest bekennen van wie het was. (lacht)

In feite ben je de voorbije tien jaar nog vaker met Burt Bacharach bedrijvig geweest.

Costello: (knikt) In 2006 vroeg men ons om Painted from Memory tot een musical te kneden. Zoals je je wel kunt voorstellen, zou het een hele uitdaging zijn geweest om twintig trage, melancholische liedjes tot iets theaterwaardigs om te vormen. (grijnst) Er bestaat een script, dat echter nooit in de productiefase is geraakt. Maar het belangrijkste voor ons verhaal nú is dat we tien nieuwe songs hebben geschreven waarvan er drie op de nieuwe plaat staan: Don't Look Now, He's Given Me Things en Photographs Can Lie. Twee jaar geleden zocht ik Burt op. Ik zei hem dat onze songs alleen maar konden uitkomen als ik ze mondjesmaat live zou beginnen te spelen. Of misschien maakte ik er zelf wel een plaat mee. Hij was het met me eens. Op dat moment toerde ik nog met Detour, de soloshow die verweven was met de publicatie van mijn boek (Costello's geweldige autobiografie uit 2015, vertaald als Trouweloze muziek en verdwijnende inkt , nvdr.). Ik vertelde op het podium zo'n beetje dezelfde verhalen als op papier, maar dan een stuk frivoler. (grijnst)

Klopt het dat je na de release van National Ransom (2010) je geloof in platen maken bent verloren?

Costello: Het scheen me een ijdele bezigheid die ik niet meer kon rechtvaardigen aangezien ik er mijn rekeningen niet meer mee kon betalen. Uiteraard is er the vocational thing, muziek als roeping. Anderzijds is het ook mijn job. Als ik wilde dat er brood op de plank kwam, kon ik me evengoed tot optreden beperken. Na National Ransom dacht ik: veel beter dan deze kan ik ze niet maken, laten we zeggen dat het mooi is geweest. Die beslissing maakte in mijn hoofd ruimte vrij om te bedenken hoe ik mijn repertoire voortaan live kon presenteren zonder louter op mijn verleden te teren. De tournee genaamd The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook bood daarop een antwoord: een soort vaudeville waarbij de setlist puur door toeval werd bepaald, en alle hondervijftig songs gelijke kansen kregen. Met dat rad hebben we over de hele wereld gespeeld. Héél plezant . Daarna heb ik mijn autobiografie geschreven, en hup: weer een andere invalshoek om mee de hort op te gaan. Je kunt je niet voorstellen hoeveel vrijheid je als podiumartiest hebt als je geen nieuwe plaat te promoten hebt.

Je kunt bijvoorbeeld ook een óúde plaat promoten, zoals je vorig jaar met Imperial Bedroom uit 1982 hebt gedaan. Wat was het idee daarachter?

Costello: Het was mij nooit om een slaafse reproductie te doen. Het dient gezegd - en dit is niet vals bescheiden - dat de plaat ook niet voldoende bekend is om de nummers in de originele volgorde te spelen. Dat verschafte ons de vrijheid om ook andere oude, of zelfs nagelnieuwe songs in de shows te vervlechten. De tournee heette dan ook Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers. Ik was heel tevreden over de twee concertreeksen die we in Amerika hebben gespeeld. Maar toen we werden gevraagd om ermee naar Europa te komen, vond ik dat we eerst een plaat moesten maken. Zoals ik zei: het moment was rijp. Niet alleen waren The Imposters één brok energie, we waren er ook in geslaagd uit te dokteren hoe we die oude songs live konden spelen. Dat was ons indertijd met The Attractions niet gelukt - terwijl drie van ons vier er toen ook al bij waren! Toen hadden we het geduld niet om die complexe arrangementen naar het podium te vertalen. Alles moest een gebalde vuist zijn. Sommige songs werkten toen wél live: Beyond Belief, Man Out of Time... Almost Blue was altijd een mooi rustmoment. Andere waren gewoon veel te ingewikkeld. We couldn't be bothered with all the intricacy. Dat interesseerde ons nu wél. We hadden ook vier zangers op het podium, dus ik kon vocale arrangementen schrijven...

Het valt alleszins op dat je op de nieuwe plaat veel helderder zingt. Je voelde niet de behoefte om, zoals toen, zanglijnen op elkaar te stapelen.

Costello: (grijnst) Geoff Emerick, de producer, heeft zijn uiterste best gedaan om welwillend te zijn tegenover al mijn krankzinnige ideeën. Ik vond dat toen allemaal relevante keuzes. Maar dankzij de tournee vorig jaar heb ik kunnen vaststellen dat de songs veel natuurlijker klinken als je die zanglijnen uitbesteedt aan achtergrondzangers. Daarom hoor je die lui ook op de nieuwe plaat.

Under Lime zet de toon: een onconventionele popsong met een dramatische plot over fictieve personages, maar nog altijd een pure popsong. Ik hoorde er wel wat Sgt. Pepper's van The Beatles in.

Costello: O ja? (kucht) Dat kan nooit slecht zijn. (lacht)

Naast Burt Bacharach en Allen Toussaint is Paul McCartney een andere grootheid met wie je samen songs hebt bedacht. Heb je zijn jongste plaat Egypt Station al gehoord?

Costello: Enkele nummers nog maar. Klonken geweldig, zoals McCartney altijd geweldig klinkt. Ik las onlangs in een tijdschrift dat hij blijkbaar mijn stem in zijn hoofd hoort wanneer hij ernstig twijfelt of iets wel een goed idee is. (lacht)

Om precies te zijn: hij overwoog om een met Autotune opgedirkte song op de plaat te zetten maar kon zweren dat hij jou vermanend hoorde zeggen: 'Fucking hell, Paul!'

Costello: (lacht) Songschrijvers onder elkaar. Maar even ernstig: ik vind het nog altijd opmerkelijk dat ik hem überhaupt kén, en dat we inmiddels dértig jaar geleden samen een stuk of vijftien liedjes hebben geschreven (waarvan de meeste in de periode 1989-1996 mondjesmaat op hun beider soloplaten zijn beland, nvdr.) Intussen heeft hij ook samengewerkt met mijn vrouw Diana Krall (die musical director van McCartneys Kisses from the Bottom (2012) was en voor haar plaat Wallflower (2015) McCartneys onuitgebrachte song If I Take You Home Tonight opnam, nvdr.) Dus enerzijds is hij de muzieklegende met wie we allebei de eer hebben gehad zij aan zij in de studio te zitten. Anderzijds is hij een mens van vlees en bloed. Toen vorig jaar Tommy LiPuma stierf, de producer die zowel met Diana als Paul heeft gewerkt, hebben we samen een toast uitgebracht op zijn herinnering. Hij is oprecht begaan met andere mensen, een heel vrijgevige man. Ik ben nog niet zo lang geleden naar een optreden van hem geweest. Drie uur heeft dat geduurd! Ik had mijn jongens mee (de elfjarige tweeling van Costello en Krall, nvdr.) en die vonden het ook geweldig. Niet omdat ik hen die songs heb opgedrongen. Ze zijn oud genoeg om zelf te kiezen waarnaar ze willen luisteren. En weet je wat? Tegenwoordig staan The Beatles aan de top van hun hitparade, sámen met het solowerk van Paul McCartney. Het is een cliché, maar muziek vindt haar eigen weg.

De olifant in deze kamer is de kanker die je eerder dit jaar betrekkelijk snel hebt overwonnen. Op jouw verzoek had men mij gevraagd dat onderwerp niet aan te snijden. Alleen vroeg ik me af of het anders voelde om deze plaat in te zingen, tussen de diagnose en de medische ingreep in.

Costello: Ik laat mijn gezondheid op regelmatige basis controleren. Toen er dus plots iets ernstigs aan de hand bleek te zijn, waren we er snel bij en kon het probleem, zoals je zegt, snel worden verholpen. So that closes the book on it. Er was geen reden om dat voorval publiekelijk te maken, omdat het een privéaangelegenheid is. Maar als je me vraagt of er iets speciaals door me heen ging toen ik op de microfoon toestapte: neen. Uiteraard dwaalde die diagnose door mijn gedachten. Uiteraard hoop je dat alles goedkomt. Maar ik voelde me niet ziek, ik was fysiek niet op de sukkel. Persoonlijk vind ik mijn zang op deze plaat heel goed, een van mijn beste zangprestaties ooit zelfs. (lacht) Als er al een aantoonbaar effect was, zal het veeleer positief zijn geweest. Misschien hielp het me net om te focussen. Ik heb alleszins nooit in de illusie verkeerd dat ik mijn testament aan het opstellen was. (lacht)

Nu verwijs je naar die regel in Under Lime: 'Allow me to just dictate my dying will.'

Costello: Dat is wat het personage Jimmy 'zegt', ja. Ik geef toe: dat was een beetje vreemd om te zingen. Maar die tekst was al lang geschreven. Wat kun je anders doen dan erom lachen? Kijk, ik heb enorm veel geluk gehad. Niemand zou er trouwens iets over vernomen hebben als ik niet te vroeg weer was gaan optreden. Ik voelde dat ik niet langer over mijn gebruikelijke energie beschikte. Het reizen was vermoeiender dan ik had verwacht, en keelproblemen - die komen altijd wel eens voor - manifesteerden zich veel onverwachter en grilliger. We hebben enkele optredens moeten afzeggen, en in het persbericht konden we de reden natuurlijk niet verzwijgen.

Dat bevestigt een populair gerucht: dat je een noeste werker bent.

Costello: Goh. Soms ben ik net zo lui als iedereen, hoor. Ik schrijf ook niet constant, dat is een mythe. Laat ons zeggen dat er specifieke domeinen zijn waarin ik lui ben. Zoals het huishouden. (grijnst)

Tot slot: jouw band met België is altijd speciaal geweest, niet?

Costello: Ik doe dit lang genoeg om de appreciatie van mensen naar waarde te kunnen schatten. Jullie schijnen, meer dan de Engelsen, te begrijpen waarom ik dit doe. Jarenlang was ik in Engeland niet bepaald welkom. Zeker in de periode nadat ik naar Amerika was verhuisd. Maar in België ben ik altijd met open armen ontvangen, ik weet niet waarom. (lacht) I love it! Nu, als ik niet goed speel, zal ik het evengoed geweten hebben. Ik vermoed dat we een gevoel voor humor gemeen hebben dat het verschil in taal en cultuur overstijgt. Hoewel: de ietwat gespleten Belgische cultuur leunt in feite dicht aan bij mijn persoonlijke versie van Engeland. Ik ben geboren in het zuiden, maar mijn familie stamt uit het noorden. Op zich zijn dat ook twee heel verschillende landsdelen.

Je bent voor een achtste Schots. Je kunt dus een kilt aantrekken zonder dat er een weddenschap of vrijgezellenavond mee gemoeid is.

Costello: (grijnst) Meer zelfs: ik heb er ook de benen voor! Bovendien schep ik er best behagen in om met een kleine dolk in mijn kous rond te lopen. (lacht) Ik mag graag denken dat ik op alles ben voorbereid.

---------------------------------------
Google translation:

Elvis Costello about his first record after the cancer: 'What else can you do but laugh about it?'

Now look: for the first time in five years, Elvis Costello (64) is releasing a new long player. Future biographies will record Look Now as the plate after the cancer. Or else the record made after Costello had claimed to be ready to make plates. "I never thought I was preparing my last will."

On Look Now Elvis Costello not only celebrates yet another reunion with his loyal, always approachable combo The Imposters (pianist Steve Nieve, drummer Pete Thomas - both already working in forerunner The Attractions - and bassist Davey Faragher). Burt Bacharach, the searing, now ninety-year-old songwriter, also popped in. That may sound as if our hero was forced to spit two dishes on sticks at the same time. The opposite is true. The fact that Look Now is such a consistent album is because Costello did not go ice overnight.

Elvis Costello: I've been thinking about making this album since 1998! More specifically, immediately after Burt and I released Painted from Memory. In my mind I saw what I call an uptown pop record for me: funky, a bit gritty, hefty rhythm section, orchestrations, different voices. Not loud or rock'n'roll, but firmly on the legs. Only: in the following years there was always something.

Is the completion of a record still accompanied by pride, or is it just a job that you can check off?

Costello: (grins) What do you think? For me it was as ready as pump water: this was the record we had to make now. You know, I've known for a long time that The Imposters, which I call my best musical friends, have much more to offer than what is always expected of them. As if that band was only good to interpret a certain part of my repertoire. That early garage sound, or how do you call it? (mocking) New wave. While the band has only got better over the years.

Maybe you would not have been in your sas if you had made Look Now twenty years ago.

Costello: In any case, it would have become something else. Logical: I could now boast 20 years of extra baggage. I had the arrangement of Mr. and Mrs. Hush for example can not write if I had not made a plate with Allen Toussaint. Steve Bernstein, the trumpet player who also played with 'A.T.' has worked, it immediately noticed certain details, a hornbound at a certain count: 'Have you listened to him again?' (laughs) What do you want, we have the privilege to see him do those things. Not many people can say that. Fantastic, right?

There are not many artists who have had a song lying around for a quarter of a century that they have written together with songsmith Carole King.

Costello: (jokingly) Carole King songs sometimes pass under the mat, of course. But seriously: in the light of her career I took Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter seriously. But it would not have been appropriate on that record with Burt. Or on those three albums that I made for Deutsche Grammofon (For the Stars, North and Il Sogno, ed.) And neither on When I Was Cruel or The Delivery Man and so on. I've always thought about it, though. But if I wanted to do that number, I had to be patient. That did not always work, because I played it a bit or a few times live. Of course, people would always appeal to me, after which I had to admit sheepishly from who it was. (laughs)

In fact, you have been working with Burt Bacharach even more often in the past ten years.

Costello: (nods) In 2006 they asked us to mold Painted from Memory into a musical. As you can imagine, it would have been quite a challenge to transform twenty slow, melancholy songs into something theater-like. (grins) There is a script that never got into the production phase. But the most important thing for our story now is that we have written ten new songs of which three are on the new album: Do not Look Now, He's Given Me Things and Photographs Can Lie. I was looking for Burt two years ago. I told him that our songs could only come out if I started to play them live. Or maybe I made a record with it myself. He agreed with me. At that time I toured with Detour, the solo show that was interwoven with the publication of my book (Costello's great autobiography from 2015, translated as Trouweloos music and disappearing ink, ed.). On the stage, I told you about the same stories as on paper, but a lot more frivolous. (grins)

Is it true that after the release of National Ransom (2010) you lost your faith in making records?

Costello: It seemed to me a vain activity that I could no longer justify since I could no longer pay my bills. Of course there is the vocational thing, music as vocation. On the other hand, it is also my job. If I wanted bread to come on the shelf, I could just as well limit myself to performance. After National Ransom I thought: much better than this I can not make them, let's say it was beautiful. That decision made room in my mind to think about how I could present my repertoire live in the future without merely tapping into my past. The tour called The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook offered an answer: a sort of vaudeville in which the setlist was purely determined by coincidence, and all hundred fifty songs were given equal chances. With that wheel we have played all over the world. Very pleasant. Then I wrote my autobiography, and hup: yet another angle to join the hort. You can not imagine how much freedom you have as a stage artist if you do not have a new record to promote.

For example, you can also promote an even record, as you did with Imperial Bedroom from 1982 last year. What was the idea behind it?

Costello: It was never for me to do a slavish reproduction. It should be said - and this is not falsely modest - that the record is not sufficiently known to play the songs in the original order. That gave us the freedom to interweave other old, or even brand new, songs in the shows. The tour was called Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers. I was very satisfied with the two concert series that we have played in America. But when we were asked to come to Europe with it, I thought we should first make a record. As I said, the moment was ripe. Not only were The Imposters one piece of energy, we also managed to figure out how to play those old songs live. At the time we did not succeed with The Attractions - while three of us four were already there! Then we did not have the patience to translate those complex arrangements to the stage. Everything had to be a clenched fist. Some songs did work live at the time: Beyond Belief, Man Out of Time ... Almost Blue was always a nice moment of rest. Others were just too complicated. We could not be bothered with all the intricacy. That did interest us now. We also had four singers on stage, so I could write vocal arrangements ...

It is certainly noticeable that you sing much clearer on the new album. You did not feel the need to stack vocal lines together.

Costello: (grins) Geoff Emerick, the producer, has done his utmost to be sympathetic to all my crazy ideas. I found all relevant choices at that time. But thanks to the tour last year, I have been able to establish that the songs sound much more natural when you outsource those vocal lines to background singers. That is why you also hear those people on the new album.

Under Lime sets the tone: an unconventional pop song with a dramatic plot about fictional characters, but still a pure pop song. I heard some Sgt. Pepper's from The Beatles.

Costello: Oh, yes? (cough) That can never be bad. (laughs)

Besides Burt Bacharach and Allen Toussaint, Paul McCartney is another great person with whom you have come up with songs together. Have you heard his latest album Egypt Station?

Costello: Just a few numbers. Sounded great, as McCartney always sounds great. I recently read in a magazine that he apparently hears my voice in his head when he seriously doubts whether something is a good idea. (laughs)

To be more precise: he was considering putting a song with Autotune on the record but could swear he heard you admonishingly saying: 'Fucking hell, Paul!'

Costello: (laughs) Song writers among themselves. But just as serious: I still find it remarkable that I knew him at all, and that we have written some fifteen songs together some decennia ago (most of which in the period 1989-1996 have ended up on their respective solo albums, ed. .) In the meantime he also worked with my wife Diana Krall (who was the musical director of McCartney's Kisses from the Bottom (2012) and recorded McCartney's unreleased song If I Take You Home Tonight for her record Wallflower (2015). he is the music legend with whom we both had the honor to sit side by side in the studio. On the other hand, he is a man of flesh and blood. When last year Tommy LiPuma died, the producer who worked with both Diana and Paul, we have released a toast to his memory. He is sincerely concerned with other people, a very generous man. I have been to a performance of him not so long ago. That lasted three hours! I brought my boys (the eleven-year-old twins from Costello and Krall, ed.) And they loved it too. Not because I forced those songs on them. They are old enough to choose for themselves what they want to listen to. And you know what? Nowadays The Beatles are at the top of their hit parade, together with the solo work of Paul McCartney. It is a cliché, but music finds its own way.

The elephant in this room is the cancer that you have overcome relatively quickly earlier this year. At your request, I had been asked not to touch that subject. I only wondered if it felt different to sing this record, between the diagnosis and the medical procedure.

Costello: I let my health check on a regular basis. So when suddenly something serious turned out to be the case, we were quick and the problem, as you say, could be solved quickly. So that closes the book on it. There was no reason to make that incident public, because it is a private matter. But if you ask me if something special went through me when I stepped on the microphone: no. Obviously, that diagnosis went through my mind. Of course you hope that everything will be alright. But I did not feel sick, I was not physically on the loser. Personally, I find my vocals on this record very good, one of my best singing performances ever. (laughs) If there was already a demonstrable effect, it will have been positive. Maybe it just helped me to focus. In any case, I have never been mistaken in the illusion that I was drawing up my will. (laughs)

Now refer to that line in Under Lime: "Allow me to just dictate my dying will."

Costello: That's what the character Jimmy 'says', yes. I admit: that was a bit strange to sing. But that text had been written for a long time. What else can you do but laugh about it? Look, I've been very lucky. Nobody would have heard anything about it if I had not started again too soon. I felt that I no longer had my usual energy. Traveling was more tiring than I had expected, and throat problems - which always occur - manifested much more unexpectedly and erratic. We had to cancel some gigs, and in the press release we could not, of course, omit the reason.

That confirms a popular rumor: that you are a diligent worker.

Costello: Gosh. Sometimes I'm just as lazy as everyone else. I do not write constantly, that is a myth. Let us say that there are specific domains in which I am lazy. Like the household. (grins)

Finally: your bond with Belgium has always been special, is not it?

Costello: I do this long enough to appreciate the appreciation of people. You seem to understand, more than the English, why I am doing this. For years I was not exactly welcome in England. Especially in the period after I moved to America. But in Belgium I have always been welcomed with open arms, I do not know why. (laughs) I love it! Now, if I do not play well, I will have known as well. I suspect that we have a sense of humor that transcends the difference in language and culture. Although: the somewhat split Belgian culture is in fact close to my personal version of England. I was born in the south, but my family is from the north. In itself, these are also two very different parts of the country.

You are for an eighth Scotch. So you can attract a kilt without a bet or bachelor night is involved.

Costello: (grins) More even: I also have the legs for it! Moreover, I take great pleasure in walking around with a small dagger in my stocking. (laughs) I like to think that I am prepared for everything.
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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:21 pm

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/el ... -look-now/

Elvis Costello & The Imposters - Look Now
8.0

Joined by his Imposters in the studio for the first time in a decade, the silver-tongued songwriter turns tunes from abandoned musicals into a surprisingly cohesive record.

More than a decade ago, Elvis Costello suggested his recording career may be over. “I’m not of a mind to record anymore,” he told Mojo. “There’s no point… In terms of recorded music, the pact’s been broken—the personal connection between the artist and the listener. [The] MP3 has dismantled the intended shape of an album.” For a spell, it seemed Costello was making good on that promise. After 2010’s sprawling National Ransom, he effectively retired from the studio, resurfacing only for Wise Up Ghost, a collaboration with the Roots that they actually initiated. Earlier this year, Costello revealed he survived a bout with a “small but very aggressive” cancer, so his return to the studio for the sumptuous Look Now, his first album with the Imposters in 10 years, is especially welcome.

Costello stayed busy throughout the past decade, pouring his energy into themed-based shows, whether reviving his Spectacular Spinning Songbook after a quarter-century or transforming his memoir into a solo tour that partly played as an homage to his dear departed dad. Just last year, he and the Imposters—the name he gave to the Attractions after dismissing perpetual pest and bassist, Bruce Thomas—celebrated the 35th anniversary of Imperial Bedroom, the 1982 album where Costello’s sophisticated songcraft really flowered.

During this self-imposed studio exile, Costello continued to write, something he proved with new songs during each tour. He kept his eye on the other sort of stage, too. He had two theatrical projects in the hopper with Burt Bacharach—one based on their 1998 album, Painted From Memory, the other a new concept—and toiled away on a musical adaptation of A Face in the Crowd. None of these came to fruition, due to the complexities of Broadway financing, but their pieces are, in part, the fodder for Look Now.

Imposters drummer Pete Thomas cobbled a few of the demos Costello had sent into a playlist, modeling it after Dusty Springfield’s sultry 1969 classic, Dusty in Memphis. Intrigued by the sequencing, Costello began to fashion an album from these homeless tunes and stray songs, poaching from his unfinished musicals and rifling through his cupboards of compositions. Echoing Momofuku, the 2008 album that marks the last time Costello recorded with the Imposters, Look Now plays at first like a simple set of songs that eschews grand concepts for immediacy.

Despite their statliness, these tunes are startlingly direct, both emotionally and melodically. They carry only the vaguest air of Costello’s signature cleverness and no trace of anger. Opener “Under Lime” is Costello’s explicit sequel to “Jimmie Standing in the Rain,” a 2010 tale of a down-on-his-luck cowboy crooner. “Under Lime” chronicles a dark backstage exchange between the washed-up singer and a young female intern. It’s a dazzling tune, a miniature five-minute musical where the dexterous arrangement matches wordplay so witty that the title’s lime comes to represent alcohol, stage lights, and the grave. It suggests the arrival of a rich, audacious song cycle. But the rest of Look Now proceeds at a gentler, empathetic pace, lingering upon the bittersweet plights of their protagonists—usually women, always etched with kindness—instead of rushing toward a conclusion.

These details abound because this material had an unusually long gestation. “Suspect My Tears,” a gorgeous ballad that functions as a showcase for all the melodic tricks Costello learned from Bacharach, first aired during a 1999 duo tour between Costello and pianist Steve Nieve. Costello revived “Unwanted Number”—a sensitive girl-group pastiche written from the perspective of a teenager dealing with an undesired pregnancy—from a 1996 film loosely based on Carole King’s time writing at the Brill Building. He penned “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter,” a densely layered confection, with King herself around the same time. Rather than forming a patchwork, these disparate origins inspire a surprisingly cohesive album, as they follow a distinct, deliberate point of view—lush, complex, and proudly mature, music that champions tradition while shunning nostalgia.

As a collection of tunes, Look Now is a triumph for Costello, a showcase for how he can enliven a mastery of form with a dramatist’s eye. But as an album, Look Now is a success because of the Imposters. Unlike Imperial Bedroom or Painted By Memory, the focus isn’t studio trickery or strings but rather the lean muscle of a band who has spent decades following their leader’s every whim. They are a sharp, supple outfit that can swing and sigh, sometimes within the same number, as when they effortlessly pivot between bossa nova verses and a radiant chorus during “Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?” This subtle sophistication and palpable flair make Look Now more than a mere set of songs—it’s a record worth getting lost within.
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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:23 pm

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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:26 pm

https://www.stereoboard.com/content/view/220552/9

Elvis Costello - Look Now (Album Review)
4 stars (out of 5)

‘Look Now’, Elvis Costello’s first solo album in eight years, is an excellent outing for the veteran songwriter. As a collection it’s rich, classy and able to demonstrate his distinctive talent for writing complex narratives full of emotional jeopardy and black humour.
This balance is beautifully rendered on Stripping Paper - a skilful ballad that uses the extended metaphor of home decor to speak about hidden, buried emotions: “I got time on my hands I'm just stripping paper / It's amazing what you will find / Stripping paper, When you get down to the past.”

While the fundamental lyrical device works, the song also manages to convey a deeply resonant kind of nostalgic melancholia that often arrives doing these kinds of mundane household tasks. It’s marvellous.
Similarly, Unwanted Number is a track that has wit and wisdom at its core, alongside hugely nimble chords and an arrangement that showcases his voice better than recent records.

Indeed, while Costello’s talent for collaboration has thrown up real gems (his 1998 album with Burt Bacharach in particular), his 21st century catalogue has sometimes seemed a sequence of genre experiments. While such intellectual exercises have always made his work interesting, they have often formed the backbone of records that don’t quite connect on a more basic level.

‘Look Now’ is music that is keen to please, and while it gets a little close to Steely Dan-style yacht rock (Under Lime and Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter for example), this is a musical group with enough self awareness to maintain a degree of edge. Listen out for Steve Nieve’s tacky organ sound, which occasionally shows up on the record. It sounds as incongruously crap/compelling today as it did on Watching the Detectives.
‘Look Now’ revisits Costello’s essential skill of heavily storied, complicated characters, and places them in in a semi-crooned fantasy space of memory and regret. It’s a distinctive, entertaining and conceptually bold record by one of the best songwriters these islands have ever produced.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:30 pm

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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:31 pm

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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:43 pm

https://www.sn.at/kultur/musik/elvis-co ... 4904#login

Elvis Costello: Ein echter Brite nimmt nicht einfach den Hut

Wenn Elvis Costello von Abschied singt, mischen sich Schwere und Leichtigkeit. Der Popstar legt nach Krisenpause ein starkes Album vor.

So schmerzlich kann es klingen, wenn Briten Abschied nehmen: "Ich bin in einem Albtraum aufgewacht", singt Elvis Costello, und seine altvertraute Band, die Imposters, verleiht der Klage ihres Chefs dezent Nachdruck. "Ich bin der Mann, der das britische Empire verloren hat", präzisiert der Sänger. Doch die Bitterkeit wiegt er sogleich mit einer Extraportion Schmelz in der Stimme auf. Fast könnte man glauben, der Song "I Let The Sun Go Down" sei Elvis Costellos melancholische Hymne zum bevorstehenden Brexit. Immerhin haben auch andere Popstars ihren Unmut über den Abschied aus der EU formuliert. Erst kürzlich unterschrieben prominente Musiker einen von Bob Geldof aufgesetzten Brief an Premierministerin Theresa May.

Costello allerdings hat seinen Song schon 2015, also im Jahr vor dem Brexit-Votum, live gespielt.

Auch ein Werk der persönlichen Auseinandersetzung mit der Angst vor der Endlichkeit ist das Lied nicht - obwohl der Gedanke ebenfalls naheläge. Heuer im Juli hatte Costello mit der Nachricht schockiert, dass ihm ein aggressiver Tumor entfernt wurde. Mitten in einer laufenden Tour, die er nach dem Eingriff bereits begonnen hatte, musste er die Notbremse ziehen. Auch geplante Österreich-Termine entfielen. Die Medienberichte über seinen Gesundheitszustand seien aber stark übertrieben gewesen, sagt der Popstar nun in Interviews. Er habe bloß mehr Zeit zur Erholung gebraucht. Und wie zum Beweis beginnt das am Freitag erschienene Album "Look Now" von Elvis Costello mit kräftigem Schwung.

Wie so oft in seinem Gesamtwerk, das nun 31 Alben umspannt, macht er auch diesmal von seiner Gabe Gebrauch, Schweres mit Leichtem aufzuwiegen, Tragödien mit Glanz zu versehen - oder umgekehrt. Zum flotten Beat des ersten Songs ("Under Lime") erzählt Costello von einem Entertainer, der verzweifelt ein Comeback versucht. Im Schmeichelsound der Ballade "Don't Look Now" wiederum versteckt sich die Geschichte einer Frau, die sich vor zudringlichen Blicken schützen muss. Und im vordergründig luftigen "Ripping Paper" geht es eigentlich um die Bilanz eines zerrissenen Familienlebens.

Sein New-Wave-Meisterwerk "Imperial Bedroom" von 1982 nennt der Songschreiber ebenso als Anknüpfungspunkt für die neuen Songs wie den Geniestreich "Painted from Memory", den er 1998 mit Easy-Listening-Legende Burt Bacharach aufnahm. Zwanzig Jahre ist das her. Auf "Look Now" hat der mittlerweile 90-jährige Bacharach ebenfalls auf zwei Songs seine Handschrift hinterlassen.

Die Mischung aus herben und süßen Zutaten, die der zwischen Pop, Jazz und Klassik, zwischen Melodrama und Sarkasmus versierte Costello auf "Look Now" erreicht, klingt zwingend. Am schönsten konzentriert ist sie in einem Titel, den Elvis Costello mit Carole King geschrieben hat: "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter".
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 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:47 pm

https://www.welt.de/print/welt_kompakt/ ... ieben.html

Mit Ewigkeitstinte ins Kunstliederbuch geschrieben

Die Bitterkeit von verbranntem Zucker: Elvis Costello meldet sich mit einem großartigen Album zurück. Burt Bacharach und Carole King sind auch mit dabei

Manchmal können Popkritiken eine lebenslange Wirkung haben. Es war 1983, als ich eine Besprechung im damals unter Gitarrenfreaks sehr beliebten Musikmagazin „Fachblatt“ las; es ging um ein Konzert der damals stilbildenden „Rockpalast“-Reihe in der Essener Grugahalle, bei dem Bryan Adams und Elvis Costello auftraten. Den Namen des Kritikers habe ich längst vergessen, nicht aber seine Formulierung, nach einem „besinnungslosen Abräumer“ wie Adams habe die komplexe Musik Costellos beim Publikum praktisch keine Chance mehr gehabt.

Ich war damals 14, hörte erst seit dem legendären Popsommer 1982 bewusst aktuelle Musik, und Bryan Adams war damals ein echter Geheimtipp. Aber „besinnungsloser Abräumer“, das saß, und seither hörte ich „Cuts Like a Knife“ oder später „Summer of ’69“ stets mit einem leicht schlechten Gewissen. Und seither weiß ich, dass auch im Pop E- von U-Musik unterschieden werden kann und muss. Costello wurde zum Inbegriff ernster Popmusik.

So ein Album wie „Punch the Clock“ von Elvis Costello and the Attractions oder wie das im Jahr zuvor erschienene „Imperial Bedroom“ hatte ich noch nie gehört, und so einen Sänger wie Costello auch noch nicht. Eine Stimme, die sich wie auf Knopfdruck vor Freude überschlagen oder vor Schmerz brechen und in Tränen ersticken konnte, die wie bei einer E-Gitarre über einen eingebauten Tremolohebel zu verfügen schien. Und Songs, in denen in jedem Augenblick etwas völlig Unerwartetes geschehen konnte, deren Akkordfolgen und Arrangements nie so weitergingen wie man erwartete (jedenfalls, wenn man bis dahin vor allem besinnungslose Abräumer oder Mark Knopflers Dire Straits gehört hatte).

Dieser Costello-Effekt, das immer wieder Überrascht-, ja Perplexsein, hat sich über die Jahrzehnte nicht abgenutzt. Klar, es gibt in diesem kaum komplett zu überschauenden Gesamtwerk auch schwächere Phasen und misslungene Projekte. Aber immer wieder Alben, die in einer knappen Stunde ein gewaltiges Spektrum von Gefühlen und Stimmungen in allen Nuancierungen abschritten. Nach dem erschöpften und überambitionierten „Blood and Chocolate“ (1986) kam das ideensprühende „Spike“; auf den eher nervigen Ausflug in die „echte“ Klassik mit „The Juliet Letters“ Anfang der Neunzigerjahre folgte ein Meisterwerk wie „Brutal Youth“. Und immer wieder fand Costello zu Funken sprühenden Kollaborationen, so mit Burt Bacharach auf „Painted from Memory“ (1998) oder Allan Toussaint auf „The River in Reverse“ (2006). Zuletzt kam es vor fünf Jahren bei „Wise Up Ghost“ zu einem R&B-Gipfeltreffen mit The Roots. Auf dem neuen Album „Look Now“, dem ersten echten Costello seit zehn Jahren, ist Bacharach als Co-Autor und Gastpianist dabei, auf den Balladen „Don’t Look Now“ und „Photographs Can Lie“. Vor allem letztere klingt ganz nach dem, was zu erwarten ist, wenn zwei Meistersongwriter sich gemeinsam die Zeit vertreiben: Sensationen im beiläufigsten Understatement-Sound. Dabei wird hier mit Ewigkeitstinte ins Kunstliederbuch des Pop geschrieben.

Mit etwas mehr Tusch kommt das Gastspiel mit Carole King daher (ja genau, der von „You’ve Got a Friend“!): „Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter“ ist großartigster Costello-Soul mit Bläsern und Seventies-Vocals. Verbrannter Zucker, das ist überhaupt ein gutes Bild für Costellos Mischung aus Melodiösität und Widerspenstigkeit. Stilistisch ist das Album nicht allzu kohärent, die Imposters sorgen jedoch für den typischen Costello-Sound aus präziser und präsenter Rhythmusgruppe mit prunkendem Piano von Steve Nieve.

Der Eröffnungssong „Under Lime“ könnte so auch auf „Punch the Clock“ gehören, inklusive der scharfen Bläser- und Vocalsätze. Es liegt eine ähnliche, latent herbstliche Atmosphäre von Scheitern und Lebenslüge über den Songs. Ein klassischer Hit im Attractions-Style der 80er ist auch „Unwanted Number“; für solche Songs hat sich die lange Pause mehr als gelohnt. Stimmlich ist Costello ohnehin absolut auf der Höhe, und das buchstäblich, etwa im letzten Song „He’s Given Me Things“, in dem er sich alles abverlangt, mit und ohne Tremolohebel.

Im Sommer hat Costello seine Krebserkrankung öffentlich gemacht und seine Tour abbrechen müssen; er soll auf dem Weg der Erholung sein. Lebensgefährlich war es aber trotzdem. Man will nicht zu viel in die neuen Stücke hineininterpretieren, zumal jedes seiner Alben seit etwa „Almost Blue“ von 1981 wie ein Abschiedswerk klingt. Dennoch: „He’s given me things/ You couldn’t guess at/ I don’t mean jewels/ Although they were fine/ One way to depart/ One way to enter“ oder „Why was I chosen?/You’ll never know“ – das lässt sich schon sehr schwer anders denn als eine Lebensbilanz lesen, hoffentlich nur eine vorläufige. Gegen Costellos vitales Genie würde auch der Sensenmann nur wie ein besinnungsloser Abräumer wirken.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Thu Oct 18, 2018 1:50 pm

https://www.schwaebische.de/home_artike ... 48545.html

Elvis Costellos Comeback nach dem Krebsschock

Es war ein Schock für Elvis Costello, seine Frau, die berühmte Jazzsängerin Diana Krall, seine Familie, aber auch für seine Fans. Anfang Juli gab der Musiker bekannt, dass bei ihm „ein kleines, aber extrem aggressives Krebsgeschwür“ gefunden wurde. Es sei zwar beseitigt, eine längere Erholung zwinge ihn aber zum Abbruch seiner Tournee. Die Sorge um den Briten, der zu den bedeutendsten Songschreibern des Pop zählt, war groß – und ist es bei einer solchen Krankheit immer noch.

Umso erfreulicher, dass der Sänger und Gitarrist nun ein neues Album herausbringt, fünf Jahre nach dem bislang letzten Studiowerk „Wise up Ghost“ mit der Hip-Hop-Band The Roots. Noch dazu ist es, nach einem Jahrzehnt, endlich mal wieder eine Platte mit seiner tollen Band The Imposters, von der ein Teil schon 1979 zu den legendären Costello-Begleitern The Attractions gehörte.

Das Allerbeste aber: „Look Now“, eben jenes Album nach der Krebsdiagnose und damit ohnehin ein Comeback der besonderen Art, klingt so selbstbewusst und kraftvoll, dass man es unweigerlich als Statement gegen das Hässliche von schwerer Krankheit und Todesängsten wahrnimmt: Seht her, hier bin ich, Elvis Costello, 64 Jahre jung, auf der Höhe meiner Schaffenskraft, ohne Furcht.

Meister aller Klassen

Selbst ohne diesen ernsten Hintergrund wäre die Platte aber eine von Costellos stärksten. Und das will schon etwas heißen bei einem Songwriter, der sich seit seinen Anfängen im Punk der 70er-Jahre mit einem Dutzend unterschiedlichster Großwerke zu einem hoch respektierten Meister aller Klassen entwickelt hat: New Wave, Rock, Soul, Country, Kunstlied – das sind nur einige der Stilschubladen, die der 1954 als Declan Patrick MacManus geborene Mann ausgiebig erforscht hat. Und immer wieder wunderschöne Balladen ohne Verfallsdatum.

Auch „Look Now“ hat in vieler Hinsicht etwas zeitlos Klassisches, ohne – wie etwa Costellos umstrittene Kammermusik „The Juliet Letters“ von 1993 – konkrete Anleihen bei der „ernsten“ Klassik zu nehmen. Einige Lieder verfasste der Londoner zusammen mit zwei Giganten des Pop-Songwritings: Carole King („Tapestry“) war schon vor längerer Zeit am jetzt endlich veröffentlichten „Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter“ beteiligt, der inzwischen 90-jährige Burt Bacharach sogar an drei aktuellen Stücken.

Der bis heute auf der Bühne höchst agile US-Komponist gilt als „King of Easy Listening“ – ein Ehrentitel, der die Raffinesse seiner zahllosen Welthits (von „I Say A Little Prayer“ über „Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head“ bis „That´s What Friends Are For“) deutlich untertreibt. Mit Bacharach arbeitete Costello schon vor 20 Jahren beim Grammy-dekorierten „Painted from Memory“ zusammen – und die entspannte Stimmung dieser Kooperation zweier fabelhafter Songwriter verschiedener Generationen strahlt nun auch „Look Now“ aus.

Natürlich hört man das auf den gemeinsamen Songs „Don´t Look Now“, „Photographs Can Lie“ und „He´s Given Me Things“. Aber Costello lässt auch mit solo geschriebenen Tracks wie „Stripping Paper“, „I Let The Sun Go down“, „Suspect My Tears“ und „Why Won´t Heaven Help Me?“ erkennen, wie stark ihn Bacharachs anmutig-melodischer Soulpop beeinflusst hat.

Den musikalischen Background liefern die Imposters – Steve Nieve (Keyboards), Davey Faragher (Bass) und Pete Thomas (Schlagzeug) – gewohnt großartig, hinzu kommen stilsichere Streicher- und Bläser-Arrangements. Und Costellos Gesang? Der ist bekanntlich Geschmackssache, und manchmal klang seine Stimme früher ja auch arg überdehnt. Diesmal ist es anders: So lässig und unangestrengt wie auf dem in einigen der besten US-Studios aufgenommenem „Look Now“ hat der Brite wohl noch nie gesungen. In seinem Krebs-Statement teilte Costello auch mit, er habe Glück gehabt – der Tumor sei mit einer Operation entfernt worden. Davor sei es angesichts der Gedanken an die eigene Sterblichkeit „ein bisschen merkwürdig“ gewesen, manche neue Lieder einzusingen, bekannte der Musiker jetzt im Magazin „Mojo“ – etwa die Zeile „Allow Me to Dictate My Dying Will“(etwa: Erlauben Sie mir, meinen letzten Willen zu diktieren) im Album-Opener „Under Lime“. Und Costello fügte angesichts seiner Grenzerfahrungen hinzu: „Es gibt keinen besseren Grund, als hellwach für die Gegenwart zu sein.“ Mit der wunderbaren, ganz ohne Selbstmitleid auskommenden Platte „Look Now“ hat er ein starkes, trotziges Zeichen gesetzt.
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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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:26 pm

When "National Ransom" fell still born on the listening public years ago its creator was shaken, embittered, vowing the album was over for him as a viable form for his music. I had my doubts as the musician had blustered such sentiments in the past. As years piled upon years I had to give him credit-he seemed to be sticking to his vow, punctuated only by the release five years ago of a collaboration effort with The Roots where they sought him out for the collaboration. Ill fated musical efforts, infrequent forays into movie soundtrack work, multifaceted revue shows around the globe was what I felt would be the "September' years for this performer and musician. When 'You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way" showed up on my radio last year my ears perked up. And now we have this vibrant, human song compilation "Look Now" to consume. I could not be happier that he went rummaging into his 'music trunk' for many of the songs on the album. I am also grateful he has landed on Concord Records, a label known for its history of giving a safe home to artists in their later years and allowing them to be themselves-I can attest to this with the example of my father in law who recorded over six albums with the label in the late 70s and 80s prior to his death when other labels would not take on an established performer. I hope EC has a long run with them.

This is a record about eyes and vision and looking and how through that act of looking- listening and learning. Throughout the record the listener is instructed by the lyric to look closely and listen intently. EC has never written with such grace. He too is looking backward and channeling the great 'pop' music he grew up with from the 60s and the 70s. Gone is the anger, the self laceration, the tongue tied rhymes and puns and line enjambments that often called more attention to him than to a particular song. He is now capable of inhabiting a character and of telling a story without a hint of authorial presence. Many of the songs on this album are vignettes of pain, regrets, deception and fears that are not maudlin or sappy or preachy. They are alive through the internal voices of women for the most part-no mean feat for a 64 year old male. These songs are fiercely composed, historically informed and richly textured; insightful regarding the particularities of a female protagonist as well as their being steeped in the life of its time. His vocals have never been warmer, particularly when he is performing one of the subtler piano ballads. I would be extremely happy if I never heard him again strain to belt out an anthem piece.

There are no real clunkers on the expanded album, though I am not too partial to "Adieu Paris". There are several, in particular "Stripping Paper", Photographs Can Lie" and "You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way" that are instant classics to my ears. He has added admirably to his political songbook by tripping Kinks like down a vaudeville way for the decline of an empire. I am enjoying the return of Jimmy and glad to see he did not melt away on that railroad platform in Lancashire. Most of all I am enjoying his re-found playfulness in the studio- arrangements, instrumentation and musicians. He has crafted a bouquet of 'pop' songs that are going to be listenable many decades on.

If this is the EC we get in the coming years I will continue to be enchanted. Perhaps he can take the route of a friend and going forward become a resident artist for a month or two in a given city at a theater working with his muscular and versatile band and continuing to reinvigorate the Popular Songbook with his mature, intelligent song writing. For now he has gifted us with a warmly human examination of how we interact with one another, commanding that we start 'looking' harder, deeper and with less judgement and perhaps more compassion.

I am so happy for him. I hope he is taking immense pleasure in this offering. He has earned it.
"....there's a merry song that starts in 'I' and ends in 'You', as many famous pop songs do....'

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:10 pm

what a great post. thanks.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby bronxapostle » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:44 pm

Very enjoyable...listened three times completely, flipping the vinyl 5 times. Just like the way i like best. Side one is preferred for now...that might change. Songs reminded me of everything from Little Triggers to PFM to throwaway bsides to MLAR and NORTH too. NICE TO BEHOLD LOOK NOW AT LAST. A+++

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migdd
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby migdd » Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:46 pm

PD and Chris - many thanks for your incisive takes on LN. Captured my feelings to the tee. What a wonderful new album.

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:41 am

Jack - like Elvis your comeback is most welcome. It’s a review I wish I could write.
Look at me now
My how things have changed

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby wardo68 » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:52 am

Here's my take. (Spoiler alert: not a masterpiece, but better than Egypt Station, which is also not a masterpiece.) Have at it.

https://everybodysdummy.blogspot.com/20 ... k-now.html

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:14 am

Wardo - one undoubted point is that Elvis is a better songwriter than painter! :lol:
Look at me now
My how things have changed

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby cwr » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:25 am

It's interesting how a selective metric has been used for two of Costello's biggest "breaks" to measure how long it has been since his last record.

When WIWC was released, the standard line was that it had been 6 years since his last "rowdy" record, 1996's All This Useless Beauty. To arrive at this 6-year hiatus, it meant disregarding 1998's Painted From Memory and 2001's For The Stars (the latter is easier to justify, as it is more of a Von Otter album than a Costello one, despite his heavy presence in the creation of it.)

For Look Now, the line is that it's been 8 years since his last "solo" record, 2010's National Ransom, and a decade since his last Imposters album, 2008's Momofuku. In order to get the 8 and 10 year numbers, it means not counting Wise Up Ghost, or The New. Basement Tapes, or that the Imposters as individuals played throughout NR (albeit not together as a band.)

I don't think think these slightly fudged numbers are invalid, it's just interesting to me that these distinctions are made. It's true that 1997-2001 was a significant break from Costello making a certain kind of record, and it's also true that after 2010, the few records he has made have mainly been projects that other people initiated. So even though he didn't exactly go into retirement, he did veer away from the routine of making "Elvis Costello" records during these gaps. (His previous "gaps," like the 3 years between B&C and Spike, seem quaint by comparison.)

Another thing I find interesting is to look at Costello's previous "comeback" albums, or records that have been hailed as "back to basics"-type albums. Blood & Chocolate, Brutal Youth, When I Was Cruel and even Momofuku all got tagged this way, with varying degrees of accuracy, but in every instance the main thing being celebrated was Costello getting back to making music with an Attractions/Imposters combo, with the implication being that he was returning to his roots, those first 4 or 5 albums.

Look Now is the first of Costello's "comeback" albums where the baseline isn't This Year's Model, or even Trust. This is the first time when a Costello "return to form" is based on the "Almost Blue"/"God Give Me Strength" side of his oeuvre and not the "Watching The Detectives"/"Pump It Up" side. When I became a fan, The Juliet Letters was viewed as a side project, a detour from what Costello does, to be put in the same oddball pile as the Almost Blue album, where Costello goes Country or Classical before returning to normal. When Painted From Memory came out, it was a 3rd example, another side project. But by 2018, an album like Momofuku starts to look like the outlier. The pile of side projects isn't as big as the pile of regular albums, but the distinctions seem increasingly pointless, and it's harder and harder to even find a dividing line between what counts as a "normal" Costello album and an experimental one. Even looking back, the final Attractions album feels like it has as much in common with albums like North or Look Now as it does with any of his first five albums. Look Now sits comfortably next to Painted From Memory but no one would dream of classifying it as anything but a "normal" Elvis Costello album, yet if this had come out in 1989, it would've been a shocker. (If it had come out in 1991, when he had the beard, then Look Now would've been a sign that he had lost his mind.)

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby bronxapostle » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Very much agree about this bit cwr....

and it's harder and harder to even find a dividing line between what counts as a "normal" Costello album and an experimental one.


I think this is the crux of all things important to he and us both. Surely we and he can all write a thesis juxtaposing then and now, this and that, rock vs. Latin tinged, country or Bacharach balladry. DOES IT MATTER? You see, his aspirations have been achieved....all he ever wanted from us was to accept it ALL. it is the right time always, for what he gives to us.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Hawksmoor » Sat Oct 20, 2018 2:06 am

So I've spent the week playing the LP as much as I can. I did go through a phase of thinking it's all a bit samey and 'why doesn't he play the electric guitar any more?' and all that. But having let the songs embed a bit, they start to separate out in your mind, and on Friday I woke up with all these tunes in my head and a big smile on my face. I started out playing 'Mr and Mrs Hush' over and over, on the basis that it's the most 'classic' Elvis' sounding track, and while it would be a bit of a stretch to see it on Imperial Bedroom, I could see it on Goodbye Cruel World, Spike or Mighty Like a Rose, maybe.

Then I moved on to 'Why Won't Heaven Help Me' because the cha-cha-cha thing makes it stand out from the homogeneity of the overall sound. Then 'I Let the Sun Go Down' which I still think is lyrically a bit clunky. Anyone buying an Elvis LP is likely to think that Brexit is a bloody awful idea and that those responsible ought to be ashamed of themselves, but the lyrics don't seem to say a lot more than that, really. But the tune is great, and I love the middle-eight ('stay awhile...'). The whole thing is (very faintly) reminiscent of 'Battered Old Bird', which can never be a bad thing.

I haven't listened much, this week, to 'Under Lime', 'Suspect My Tears' or 'Unwanted Number' because I felt like I'd played them a lot over the preceding weeks and knew them pretty well. I like 'Burnt Sugar' a lot although I do feel the speeded-up version (compared with the solo/live version we've had for years) loses the audibility of the lyrics a bit. The worst example is 'I know nothing about him' at the end of the middle-eight. If you didn't already know the song, you'd never be able to work out what he is singing there

Then I had a go at the piano/voice ballads, which I'd been putting off because they really did all sound a bit similar. And that's when I got into 'Isabelle in Tears'. Bloody hell. That's absolutely up there, for me. Lyrically, musically, note-perfect. OK, once we've reached a certain age, we're all going to be able to find things in there that appear to relate to relationships we've had, so lyrically that's an easy win for Elvis and his audience. But 'can you admit your love, can you confess her worth?' Look at the pathetically over-rated singer-songwriters coming up now, slavered over by Radio 2. Which of them could even begin to use a phrase like 'confess her worth'? And contrasted with that you've got 'Isabelle is ringing' ('is a bell (is) ringing?') which is laugh-out-loud funny. Laughter and tears. A distant relative of 'Slow Drag with Josephine', a towering achievement, and (along with 'Under Lime') heading for my Top Thirty, possibly Top Twenty, Elvis tracks.

So I'm getting there. I still don't think it's on a level with Momofuku, National Ransom or The Delivery Man (and I don't think there's anything on there as individually strong as 'Pardon Me Madam', 'Story in Your Voice' or 'Jimmie') but it's stronger than Secret/Profane and it might (just possibly) be better than Wise Up Ghost. A singer-songwriter still at the top of his game at 64, can't argue with that.


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