One of my favorite things that's happening is that it feels like this is maybe the first time that one of EC's high-profile collaborations is going to be putting a spotlight on EC.
When he's done albums with Bacharach, Von Otter, Toussaint, etc. Costello has always been very gracious about putting the focus on his legendary collaborator. The only partnership that could've really gone the other way was with McCartney, and it seems like Paul was never fully comfortable giving Costello the kind of "bump" that he could've easily done. If McCartney had wanted to do a joint tour, or an album together, I'm certain that Costello would've jumped at the chance, but Macca always seemed to resist having it look like EC was filling the "Lennon" slot, lest people think PM somehow needed that kind of partner to do great work.
(Costello has publicly hinted how much he'd love for their demos to be released in some way, and Paul seems to be the one dragging his heels on that.)
But this album with The Roots seems like a brand new thing: they are proud to be working with Costello AND they seem eager to put the spotlight on how great it is to be working with HIM. Not that Bacharach, Von Otter, Toussaint weren't-- they were always so fulsome in their praise of him, it's just that those collaborations were instigated by Costello and fueled by his desire to celebrate THEIR music. It feels like The Roots were the ones egging Costello on, they were the ones insisting "let's make an album" at a time when EC wasn't sure if he was even gonna make albums anymore.
It will be very interesting to see The Roots push hard for people to hear this record. It also occurs to me that we are very likely to see some kind of "Elvis Costello Week" on Jimmy Fallon when the record comes out!
I guess my main question is: will Tony Millionaire be brought back for a third record sleeve??