well, what do you think of

Pretty self-explanatory

rate the new one

it's fabulous!
12
41%
better than that last one, but not one of the Fab Five
4
14%
it's worse than the last one, but I like the cover better
8
28%
it could be worse. really - remember ____ ?
5
17%
there's a new one?
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 29

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mood swung
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well, what do you think of

Postby mood swung » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:20 pm

good god, what is the name of it? :lol:

Secret, Profane and Sugarcane.

the title. it does not move me.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Miclewis » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:48 pm

Am I the only one, or does "Secret, Profane, and Sugarcane" remind anyone a little of The Pogue's "Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash"? (More than just the obvious similarity in titles.)

Songs like "She Was No Good" especially have a Pogues feel; with an American, Southern accent.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:54 pm

The following of two adjectives (although of course 'secret' might be a noun, but not when followed by an adjective this way) with a noun is very jarring. I like the three words the way way they sit together, but the jarring nature of them means the title ultimately just gets on my tits.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby BlueChair » Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:36 pm

I like it a lot. I purposely sought out the vinyl this time and I'm glad I did, for the sake of "Femme Fatale" and "What Lewis Did Last." Surprised there was no download code in the package though!
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby LessThanZero » Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:51 am

Femme Fatale is STUCK in my head nonstop. When I wake up and go to the bathroom, it's in my head. Schumann!
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby miss buenos aires » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:35 am

It seems like a bonus disc to me, maybe because of the inclusion of "Complicated Shadows" and "Hidden Shame."

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Poor Deportee » Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:41 pm

I'm surprised by the lukewarm response by many EC fans. It *seems* like the kind of record we should be getting excited about - not really a collaborative 'side project' nor a narrow genre exercise outside his long-established range. Furthermore, it's an extremely solid collection of well-crafted and exquisite-sounding songs. I enjoy it when I listen. And yet I don't feel particularly driven to listen. Like a lot of EC's late records, it seems to elicit more respect for the superb craftsmanship than intense emotional response (except, in this case, for the genuinely powerful 'Red Cotton').

Truth be told - and maybe I'll be flamed off the site for saying this - I think EC is pretty much doing the same old thing lyrically and has been for some time. Contrast his material from the last decade with the explosive originality of his early work; e.g., the outrageous collapse of personal and historical/political concerns on Armed Forces (to the extent of the obscene pun about the Holocaust in 'Chemistry Class') - what EC brought to the table in those days, beyond ferocious tunecraft, was a perspective, an angle, you got from no one else. And I think since about MLAR he's been working without any particularly interesting or unique point of view that we haven't heard before, either from him or someone else. What's left is musical experimentation and, as I say, superb craftsmanship. Maybe this is unfair, but it seems to explain this tendency to respect-but-not-love his later stuff. I think EC needs to reinvent himself perspectivally rather than musically - rather as Dylan has managed to do on several occasions - before he'll rekindle the kind of excitement his work used to generate. Just a thought.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Jackson Monk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:07 am

I think you've hit the nail on the head Poor Derportee. Lots of respect, but I aint finding the love. When I think back over the past 10 years, I really don't LOVE any of those albums with the exception of North, which I believe (contrary to what many boardsters think) to be his most endearing record since Brutal Youth. It had heart. It brought out emotion.

SP&S sounds wonderful. T-Bone is a true craftsman. It just lacks something I can't put my finger on. I've been playing it non-stop for a week and yet I don't get in the car and think "yeah....an hour of Elvis all the way to Bedford...sweet!"

Buying an EC album was always a big event for me. I recall standing outside Golden Discs in Dublin waiting for it to open so that I could get PTC and going back a week later for another copy simply to get the lyric sheet. I'm not sure when that great feeling of anticipation left me. Probably after WIWC, which I find his most unsatisfying album of all. Truth be told, I rarely sit through the whole of TDM or TRIR although I do pick out the faves such as Bedlam or Sharpest Thorn. I liked Momofuku but mainly because it's a good pop record and I like his pop records best. The deep southern, 'let me pretend I'm Muddy Waters' stuff really does little for me.

As for this album:

Wines & Spirits - Nice enough without blowing me away.
Complicated Shadows - What's the point? It was so-so the first time..I skip every time
I Felt The Chill Before The Winter Came - Really beautiful ballad. No problem with this.
My All Time Doll - Oh dear. When did Elvis start to do that dreadful drawing out of words in a faux southern accent.....Doooooollllllllll. I dislike this song immensely.
Hidden Shame - Marginally less pointless than Complicated Shadows.
She Handed Me A Mirror - Boring
I Dreamed Of My Old Lover - I was finding it boring as the above, but I'm working on it and it's grown a little.
How Deep Is The Red - This really should have been a classic EC song, but it seems half finished to me. Needs another verse and I never thought I'd see the day when EC would resort to simply repeating the title over and over again as a middle eight. I just sounds like he's running out of ideas and can't be arsed to come up with anything else.
She Was No Good - Quirky but good. I like this as it's got some balls rather than a lot of self-pitying whining that goes on for much of the first half.
Sulphur To Sugarcane - It's ok, but hardly earth shatttering.
Red Cotton - Superb. A stunning song and the reason I used to love all things Elvis. The best on the album by a country (no pun intended) mile.
The Crooked Line - Good clean fun and the wife and kids like it. Would have been a good single choice 25 years ago.
13. Changing Partners - Nice way to close. A nice gentle love song without being too clever.

In summary, the second half does much more for me, but not enough to put SP&S in my top 10 EC albums......not even top 20 to be honest.

I look forward to the brickbats! :lol:
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby charliestumpy » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:59 am

... It depends where/when/how you listen ...

I made sure that when my cut-down 13 track DC arrived 3 days late I enjoyed it on portable in sunshine outside - great ...

I have listened to it many times since then (all inside domiciles/on different systems) and it is not so good.

I prefer my CDr with the 13 tracks plus the Japanese 2 plus the B side of limited-availability vinyl May single.

Let's be honest - we know that Costello was/is brilliant, but the great albums were way back then ...

I am happy with the CD-cardboard as on last 2 albums.

I agree that it would be a better (musical) world if CD/digital downloads had never superseded vinyl.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby pophead2k » Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:52 am

I always enjoy the diversity and honesty of opinions about EC's work as it comes out. It is interesting to see who likes what and for what reasons. I've stated before that I'm not a terribly 'picky' EC fan; I seem to deeply enjoy most everything he does for one reason or another. It might be because I didn't come into the picture until 'Spike' and so all those classic albums were years behind at that point.

I took a short road trip this past weekend and was finally able to really invest some time into listening to the album and my short term thought is that I will probably return to this much more than TDM or Momofuku. TDM has a couple of songs I just don't like and Momofuku is a great collection of songs without any unifying theme (apart from Jenny Lewis' voice).

The thing that is setting SPS apart for me is the consistency of the album and the quality of the tunes. Interestingly, as great a lyricist as EC is, it is always the melodies that stand out for me. I probably know fewer lyrics by heart than any hardcore fan I know. The melodies on 'How Deep is the Red', 'All Time Doll', and 'She Handed me a Mirror' really do it for me.

I wasn't a big fan of Complicated Shadows before and I'm still not. I do like how 'Hidden Shame' breaks up the album a bit. 'Changing Partners' is another in a very long line of superbly chosen covers.

To my ears, the whole thing sits together very well; it is enjoyable to listen to beginning to end. I dig the southern gothic appeal of much of the album and am very excited for the show on Sunday evening.

A final thought: perhaps our respective enjoyment of EC's work the last ten years (or during any time frame for that matter) has as much if not more to do with where we are in our own lives. Let's face it, very little musically can compare with music we enjoy when we are young. In my teens and twenties music was as essential to me as air or water, and the music I got into at that time will maintain a special feeling for me forever. It's not that I enjoy music less today or that music is not as good- it's just that it doesn't burn itself into me in the same way. I'd venture to say that nothing that EC puts out, no matter how good, will ever elicit the same response in most of us that his work did when we were younger. Just an idea.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Jackson Monk » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:38 am

Your final point is spot on, but I'd take it further. I was 40 in the year I bought North, but I was in an emotional place that made the album very special for me. So, I'm not sure it's just about age, although fundamentally I agree that the music we love when we are young always holds a special place in our hearts that few later albums can reproduce.

Regardless of where you are in life, the album has to be pretty decent to stand the test of time.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby cwr » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:01 pm

How Deep Is The Red - This really should have been a classic EC song, but it seems half finished to me. Needs another verse and I never thought I'd see the day when EC would resort to simply repeating the title over and over again as a middle eight. I just sounds like he's running out of ideas and can't be arsed to come up with anything else.


I'm not sure this is a fair criticism-- I think it's more likely that Costello felt that the song didn't require anything extra to be complete.

I remember one review accused EC of running out of steam when WIWC came out, because he kept repeating "Alibi, alibi" and stating flatly that in the early days, Costello would NEVER have resorted to simply repeating a phrase over and over in a song. Of course, this would be a case of selective memory, as I believe at least one early song's chorus is simply: "One of these days, I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back, one of these days... One of these days, I'm gonna pay it back, pay it back, one of these days..."

A lot of this is obviously "to each his own", but I feel like "How Deep Is The Red" is one of the major songs on this record-- haunting, chilling, compelling, a perfect little gem of a song. I can imagine there being another verse, yes, but then again, that could also ruin what I think is perfect about it.

I remember the first time I heard "Beyond Belief" being surprised that it ends JUST as it's starting to really catch fire. Now, I can easily imagine that he could have worked that song into a 6-minute epic, but it is what it is, really.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby thepopeofpop » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:52 am

I quite like it. More importantly, I'm not the only one, as this week's US Billboard Album chart reveals:

http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/charts/c ... 0&g=Albums

That's Elvis' highest ever US Billboard album chart debut (WIWC debuted at #20) and his second highest US album chart placing.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:16 am

It's really just the Secret Songs bits that are not doing it for me at the moment, but maybe I need to give it more time to soak in.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:23 am

thepopeofpop wrote:I quite like it. More importantly, I'm not the only one, as this week's US Billboard Album chart reveals:


I theorize that this is due to Elvis being much more exposed (at least in the US) than he was say 10 years ago, than due to the merits of the actual album. Sure its gotten good reviews and that has helped. But with his talk show, the guest appearances on other TV shows, the Diana Krall marriage, the Lexus commercials, the Jonas Bros and other band connections, his steady album releases and touring . . . he's turning into more of a mainstream/household name than I ever imagined.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby And No Coffee Table » Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:58 am

thepopeofpop wrote:his second highest US album chart placing.


I believe it's actually the third. Armed Forces was #10 and Get Happy!! #11.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Jackson Monk » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:12 pm

cwr wrote:
How Deep Is The Red - This really should have been a classic EC song, but it seems half finished to me. Needs another verse and I never thought I'd see the day when EC would resort to simply repeating the title over and over again as a middle eight. I just sounds like he's running out of ideas and can't be arsed to come up with anything else.


I'm not sure this is a fair criticism-- I think it's more likely that Costello felt that the song didn't require anything extra to be complete.



Hmmm. I'm not sure why this is an unfair criticism. As you say..."each to his own" etc.

My opinion is that 'How Deep is the Red' is a very good song that could have been great. I personally find the repetition irritating and unnecessary - as I did 'Alibi' after a week or two. Elvis is a one of the world's most respected songwriters....I am not, so what do I know? Well, I know what I like it aint the middle of this song. I don't see what's unfair about that? :?
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby cwr » Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:56 pm

I guess I'm just rejecting your premise-- not that you didn't like the song, which (as I said) is simply a 'to each his own' deal, but this charge:
Needs another verse and I never thought I'd see the day when EC would resort to simply repeating the title over and over again as a middle eight. I just sounds like he's running out of ideas and can't be arsed to come up with anything else.

To imply that EC's drive or inspiration has somehow dried up because he didn't write an extra verse for a song, or because he uses repetition in a song, doesn't seem fair to me in that I don't think it can be backed up by anything other than that you'd like the song more if it was longer. I was just pointing out that you could say that about many other Costello songs from 1977 to the present day-- he sure says "I Want You" a lot in one of them!-- surely we can agree that this is more likely to be that he is using repetition for a desired effect rather than that he "can't be arsed to come up with anything else", right?

I doubt that he's writing new songs at this point just to run up the tally on the scoreboard-- this is one of TWO albums he recorded in 2008, and he says he's written at least two since then.

Now, I think it's completely fair to say "I wish it was longer, I'd like it more" or "his new songs aren't as good as his old ones", but that's sort of different than what you were arguing-- that he is running out of new ideas and can't be bothered to write extra verses, so he just sings the title over and over. I think if someone were to put this argument to Costello himself you'd probably get a much fiercer rebuttal than the one I'm providing.

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Jackson Monk » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:41 pm

Well, I'm not really fussed as to whether Elvis would give me a hard time. I pay for his music - we have a contract that both of us get something out of :lol: I love the vast majority of his work, but I'm not blind to his failings and in my opinion like every genius, he has his flaws. There are 1 or 2 critics who have argued that Elvis has just tossed this album of odds and sods out without a great deal of faith in it's contents. Not saying I totally agree, but you could ask why he chose to abandon the Anderson opera? To say he puts his all into everything he does is an opinion I don't honestly share. To my mind the quality control department has been out to lunch on many occasions when they should have been sorting wheat from chaff.

The examples you give are interesting. Alibi is an 'ok' song but (for me) is not in the same league as 'I Want You' even though they both use repetition a great deal. I'm not sure why this is. The latter just works and I never tire of it. The former just became boring after a few spins (and is way too long!). With HDITR, I can't help but think halfway through that particular section: "Ok...we know, we know....for Christ's sake move on". He gets to a point in that section where it quietens and he sounds like he's going to deliver another killer line, and then we get yet another series of barked out repeats. It just sounds over-baked to me.

Anyway, talking of over-baking things, we've done this to death. I respect your opinion. We both share the view that it's a great song and one of the best on the album. I just think it could have been better. Peace and love 8)
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby cwr » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:59 pm

Two points of agreement-- "Alibi" is just an "OK" song, and longer than it needs to be for me, too. Of course, in the latter half of his career, I tend to have more appreciation for his sad songs than his angry ones. He never seems to run out of different ways to express heartbreak, but "I love you just as much as I hate your guts" always seemed like kind of a silly echo of his earlier revenge & guilt persona...

The second point: I also agree it's worth examining why this is the second time in this decade that Costello began a major non-album project only to end up chopping it up for parts. I think in both cases, he ended up with good songs on good albums (I prefer SP&SC to TDM), but it is interesting that he hasn't been able to really bring a full 'theatrical' project to the point where he has a big, complete production somewhere. I don't think that the origin of the songs really has any effect on the quality of the albums, but I'm assuming it might be a source of frustration that he can't seem to bring these projects fully to fruition...

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:12 pm

pophead2k wrote:A final thought: perhaps our respective enjoyment of EC's work the last ten years (or during any time frame for that matter) has as much if not more to do with where we are in our own lives. Let's face it, very little musically can compare with music we enjoy when we are young. In my teens and twenties music was as essential to me as air or water, and the music I got into at that time will maintain a special feeling for me forever. It's not that I enjoy music less today or that music is not as good- it's just that it doesn't burn itself into me in the same way. I'd venture to say that nothing that EC puts out, no matter how good, will ever elicit the same response in most of us that his work did when we were younger. Just an idea.

I'd like Elvis to do an album that had as much impact in my life as his earlier ones, but it's unlikely at this stage, just as it is for most artists. Who can you name in music who have been around for 30 yrs plus and who is making music as vital as back in the glory days? Very few if any.

Most years I find a record or two that does it for me in as exciting a way as stuff from my youth, enough for you to look back with the same nostalgia in another 20 years. Recent examples were Fleet Foxes and Lambchop's Ohio, both of which were essential daily listening as I got into them and excited me as much as music ever has.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby thepopeofpop » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:10 am

And No Coffee Table wrote:
thepopeofpop wrote:his second highest US album chart placing.


I believe it's actually the third. Armed Forces was #10 and Get Happy!! #11.


Yes, I forgot about "Get Happy!!". SP&S is still his highest debut though, as both "Armed Forces" and "Get Happy!!" debuted outside of the Top 20. Of course, these are different times and albums rarely climb the charts anymore.

Emotional Toothpaste wrote:
thepopeofpop wrote:I quite like it. More importantly, I'm not the only one, as this week's US Billboard Album chart reveals:


I theorize that this is due to Elvis being much more exposed (at least in the US) than he was say 10 years ago, than due to the merits of the actual album.


"Momofuku" only made #57. "The River in Reverse" only made #102. "The Delivery Man" got to #40.

I think the difference this time is that this album has been heavily promoted. Momofuku had zero promotion.

Jackson Monk wrote:My opinion is that 'How Deep is the Red' is a very good song that could have been great. I personally find the repetition irritating and unnecessary - as I did 'Alibi' after a week or two.


I think the repetition is the second best part of the song (after the opening lines)! Although it isn't totally repetitive - the music changes as he repeats the line.
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Jackson Monk » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:14 am

Oh well, maybe it's just me then. :|
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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby Emotional Toothpaste » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:24 am

Not just you. How Deep is the Red is easily my least favorite track. I have to skip it, the repetition and unpleasantness of the voice - makes me feel embarassed for the band playing along with him. I wonder how they keep from cracking up over it . . . oh boy, here comes another chorus of Elvis shouting "How Deep is the Red" - look down at your instrument, don't look up. :lol:

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Re: well, what do you think of

Postby VonOfterdingen » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:06 pm

I find it an above average album but an average EC album.

Most of the songs works for me but overall the tend to the boring side. Not as in tiresome but as not very tight or something I wanna play over and over again.

Hidden Shame is a waste but otherwise all songs works on some level IMO.

Favorites are Red Cotton and The Crooked Line (though a bit of a Ring of Fire rip-off) but also She was no good and, She handed my a mirror and How deep is the red. I saw these song performed in Copenhagen and they got the same structure here. And thats why he keeps repeating the same line in How deep is the red. She did that with an operavoice in Copenhagen and he does it in he's own way just as many times.

I hope there will be drums on the next album though...
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