Look Now: new album announced!

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

Postby John » Mon Oct 15, 2018 9:25 am

It seems like Elvis has to actually appear on shows to get his records played - Radios 4, 5 and 6 recently and BBC Radios 2 and Manchester today.

At least it is album of the day on Radio 6.

Look Now is currently number 4 in the Amazon UK CD and Vinyl album chart.

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Fishfinger king
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Fishfinger king » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:10 am

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


There are record shops that stock extensive new releases - if you live in major conurbations like Manchester or Cambridge. I'm sure Piccadilly and Fopp are great if you live nearby. Those of us in rural Norfolk are a bit more dependent on companies like Amazon, much as we hate it. The main record shops left in Norwich are great for second hand vinyl and selective releases - not necessarily a new Costello release. Our Price, HMV and Virgin all shut a long time ago.

The album, by the way is great - really liking it. Suspect My Tears particularly awesome - how could it be not recorded for so long? Main quibbles - Don't Look Now (the track) is too short! Seems to be missing an instrumental break and another verse/chorus! Other than that it's the spelling!!
Is that so surprising nowadays?

Neil.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Neil. » Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:43 am

Well, I've listened 3 times now and I love it!

Stripping Paper - those piano chords! The imagery! Instant classic - I want a woman to record it ASAP!
Suspect My Tears - I've already raved about this 70s-sounding love song (The Stylistics, anyone?) with the twisted lyrics.
Don't Look Now - totally gorgeous, but I feel it's missing a climax, somehow, as the Fishfinger King said. But gorgeous, gorgeous.
Photographs Can Lie - didn't grab me first listen but now I'm totally in love.
Isabelle in Tears - gasp!
Dishonour the Stars - again, left me a bit cold on first listen, but now I love its jazzy changes and melody.
I Let the Sun Go Down - this feels like a novelty song in a way, but what an amazing Beatles tribute production. And yes, as others have said, I can't help thinking of David Cameron!
Why Won't Heaven Help Me - love the samba vibe (if that's the right term).
Mr & Mrs Hush - didn't like this at first but what a grower! Bit like 'Skin and Bone' from Momofuku.
He's Given Me Things - I'm not a massive fan of this as its melody isn't quite as strong as some of the others, but the playing is fantastic, as with the whole album - and the way it ends!!! Woah!
You Shouldn't Look At Me - an instant classic that should be covered by everyone.
Final Mrs Curtain - its charms have failed to grab me yet, but I live in hope.
Under Lime - I got into it when it first came out, but I think there are far better songs on the album. And all told, it's a shame poor Jimmie turned out to be a bastard!
Unwanted Number - love the song but I'm so used to the For Real version that I can't get past that stumbling block. And it feels like half of it is 'repeat to fade' stuff.
Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter - I haven't got used to the new version yet. I don't like the sound of it - I'm too wedded to the live version that was on Radio 2 donkey's years ago. I wished they'd done it as a stripped-back piano version like a lot of the rest of the songs, and kept the 'My, how things have changed' doomy rumbling ending.
Adieu Paris - I can't get past Elvis's French accent in this - he just can't do it!

He gives his voice a helluva lot to do, and he does sound like he's straining at times - but that's the price he pays for writing those marvellously interesting melodies.

All in all - what a fantastic album! Thanks to Elvis and all his musical pals for creating it!

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:15 pm

First time all the way through. I'm stunned. Davey and Pete are so good, so important on this. And so many other things to say. The production, the background vocals, those bass things that one reviewer called 'raised eyebrows'. Can't wait to listen through again, beginning to end. The lingering after effect is "Couldn't Call it Unexpected #4," ever since my favourite E.C.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:18 pm


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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Miclewis » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:01 pm

I loved "Suspect My tears" when it was released in September. But something about hearing it in 'context" with the rest of the album makes it really shine. My least favorite song is probably "Dishonor the Stars"; which just means that it will be my favorite song a month from now. I wish "The Final Mrs. Curtain" and "Isabelle In Tears" were on the official album. I would place "The Final Mrs. Curtain" before "Suspect My Tears" in the track order. I guess "Isabelle In Tears" works as a final track; though "He's Given Me Things" is so beautifully hard to follow.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:43 pm

https://slate.com/culture/2018/10/elvis ... k-now.html

Elvis Costello’s New Album Is His Best This Century
And one of his best in decades.

The young, horn-rimmed, punk-era rocker whose bony knees seemed driven to go to war with each other while he spat out barrages of alliterative puns and internal rhymes savaging every existing social structure, whether public or intimate, along with himself—that Elvis Costello has been mostly gone for a long time. But the mature, song-form-exploring, avuncular craftsman who took his place still has a defiant streak hidden under his many, many hats. Consider that in a time of heightened awareness of both gender injustice and the perils of appropriation, Costello has chosen to sing eight of the 12 songs on his new album, Look Now, from female characters’ points of view.

It could be a bad look for a 64-year-old codger to try to slip into the shoes of all these dreamed-up women. Especially Costello, given his early history of sexist-sounding spitefulness—his 1970s raging-nerd profile would suggest an incel Twitter troll today—as well as his later tendency to muddle his musical narratives with overloads of opaque imagery. But to my ears (cis male ears though they be), Costello carries it off: Look Now happens to be his best album this century, and one of his three or four best in about 30 years.

It was made partly with his own Imperial Bedroom in mind—Costello did a tour centered around that 1982 landmark album last year—and these songs similarly concentrate on intricate portraiture using an expansive sonic palette. The core band is augmented by horn and string sections and Costello’s most extensive ever use of group backup vocals, which puts some real-world female voices alongside the ones Costello channels (sometimes even with subtly “feminine” affectations, his vocal tremors conjuring a grizzled-Brit Judy Garland). The arrangements—co-produced by the Argentine American producer Sebastian Krys, who’s won multiple Grammys for his work on Latinx rock and pop—are carefully designed not to suffocate the songs, which themselves are in the main elegantly delineated, verbally and melodically, rather than overloaded. It’s a much less emotionally fraught record than Imperial Bedroom, fittingly sounding older and wiser, though still far from content. Less audaciously thrilling of course, too, but that’s to be expected of a later-period Costello record, even if he can still summon it on stage.

On its face, the album’s title is a more positive spin on the name of the second track, “Don’t Look Now,” which is sung in the persona of a fashion model warning her photographer not to get any dodgy ideas. But the phrase Look Now is also a kind of “I’m back” declaration from an artist who hasn’t put out a full-length record under his own name since 2010, when he said that, given the economics of the modern music industry, he might never make an album again (though he did continue collaborating on albums, notably with the Roots on Wise Up Ghost in 2013).

It’s also his first in a decade with his primary live band, the Imposters, who, except for a crucial change of bass players, are the same group as the classic Attractions, who’ve been with him since 1977—he’s said that one of his motivations for making this record was to showcase the emotional range the band’s achieved four decades along. On top of that, it’s Costello’s first album since he published his ambitious 2015 memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, in which he sometimes grappled with and sometimes avoided the less savory parts of his own history, including with women, both in life and in song. Finally, it’s his first new music since the news last year that he’d undergone (thoroughly successful) surgery for a “small but very aggressive” cancer.

And so, Look Now, as in “Check me out!” But the title does double thematic duty, because so many of these songs are about the way that people, above all men and women, literally look at each other—the lyrics are full of look and see and gaze and eyes—whether that regard is wary, desirous, regretful, projecting, manipulative, or most often some ambiguous and treacherous combination thereof.

Glances are exchanged like fencing parries in the opening track “Under Lime,” as a rickety old showman and a young female production assistant negotiate a dubious tryst backstage at a talk show. And in “Stripping Paper,” where a woman whose marital vows have proved “hollow” pulls away their home’s wallpaper and sees the whole history of the relationship revealed there archaeologically, layer by layer. In “Unwanted Number”—a girl group–style tearjerker that Costello wrote for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart, which is loosely based on Carole King’s life as a Brill Building songwriter in the 1960s—a teen who’s found herself seduced, abandoned, and pregnant sings about how she’s regarded as disposable by her ex-lover, her peers, and her parents. “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter,” the song here that Costello wrote with King herself 20 years ago, has a divorced mother reviewing the stages of her ex-husband’s vanishing act. In “Photographs Can Lie,” a young woman stares at a photo of her parents seeming blissful together, when she knows her father was a cheater—“Why can’t she see through him?”—and fears she’ll someday find herself in a similar picture. And so on, including the only worthwhile bonus track on the “deluxe edition,” a song Costello composed for the recent movie Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, which movingly has a self-conscious older woman telling an infatuated younger man, “You Shouldn’t Look at Me That Way.” (It really ought to be the closing track of the main album.)

None of this adds up to a grand thesis about the male gaze or sexual politics, thankfully. Costello got out of the business of pointed topicality long ago. In his early stuff, I would argue that many of the songs tagged as misogynist were equally as much about misogyny, from a critical stance (e.g., “This Year’s Girl,” currently the theme for the HBO series The Deuce), though don’t get me wrong, that line was certainly blurry (e.g., “Alison”). But here the man born Declan MacManus simply aims for richly empathetic sketches of humans enduring the ordinary ongoing mess and lets his characters’ pains and confusions speak for themselves. Though this kind of earthy realism is not the trait he’s best known for, Costello has long excelled at it when he doesn’t let his own cleverness obstruct him. These songs are spiritual sequels to songs like “Veronica,” the compassionate 1989 hit about an elderly woman with dementia that he co-wrote with Paul McCartney, or “The Long Honeymoon,” about a woman’s dawning realization that her husband is sleeping with her best friend, on Imperial Bedroom itself.

Besides King, Costello’s other high-profile collaborator here is Burt Bacharach, revisiting their partnership from the lovely 1998 album Painted From Memory, which Costello has said was another touchstone for this album. The 90-year-old master of easy-listening but complexly constructed songwriting co-wrote three tunes here: “Don’t Look Now,” “Photographs Can Lie,” and the closing number about a woman justifying to her ex-lover why she’s become the mistress of a wealthy older man, “He’s Given Me Things.” (He plays piano on the first two.) The bright 1950s and 1960s mainstream-pop sound that Bacharach helped birth is one of this album’s stylistic models—“Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?” verges on Dionne Warwick territory—along with girl groups, Motown (a Costello constant), post-Motown soul (less so), and Broadway musicals. There’s some rock too, naturally, but the former New Wave icon these days proclaims that rock is “a big square thing that fills stadiums with a really square beat and it has never interested me,” and he hopes it really is dead.

One of the reasons Bacharach is present is that he and Costello spent years working on a potential stage production based on their 1998 album and wrote many additional songs for it, likely including the three here. Costello has said he’s attempted a couple of other theater projects that didn’t come to fruition, along with his currently in-development musical based on the same story as the 1957 Elia Kazan film A Face in the Crowd (which saw a revival of interest in the past few years due to parallels between its main character and Donald Trump). Many of the songs on this album seem to be salvaged from those unrealized projects—making them “trunk songs,” in theater lingo—along with the couple that come from films and the long-unused “Burnt Sugar.” That connection to stage musicals is significant, because many of the Look Now songs are more linear and direct, exactly the way musicals’ main numbers tend to be: They lay out a thesis and a central metaphorical device, and then follow it through, sans detours into Dylan-esque tangents.

I love a good Dylan-esque tangent, mind, if it’s truly good. And there still is some density here, particularly in “Under Lime” (in which the title refers at once to showbiz limelights, the lime in a mixed drink, and the quicklime used to dissolve a body after a murder), as well as the Beatlesque and Elton John–esque “I Let the Sun Go Down” (about an aging Brit clinging to the vestiges of the empire and possibly voting pro-Brexit). But even these songs—though maybe not the ska-soul shuffle (recall that Costello produced the Specials) “Mr. & Mrs. Hush,” which is about quelling jealousy, possibly, I think?—come to sound straightforward enough after a few listens, compared with a lot of Costello’s 1990s and 2000s output. And except for the first three bonus tracks, like the hideous broken-French thing “Adieu Paris” (which Costello tried to pitch to the late Johnny Hallyday), nothing seems like a mere genre exercise.

Selecting from a decade and more’s buildup of songs seems to have been a winning method of quality control. “Stripping Paper,” “Unwanted Number,” “Photographs Don’t Lie,” the orchestral Philadelphia soul–style “Suspect My Tears”—about a couple vying to win arguments by out-weeping each other (“two hypocrites collide”)—and perhaps a couple of others earn places on Costello’s spinning wheel of classics. And the throughline of vignettes on gender and relationships helps Look Now feel like a defined space one can enter, survey, and contemplate over sustained time—not to analyze current urgencies, but to relate to and reflect on however we might, while enjoying enormously well-realized music. It’s not as if Costello would have any revelations rendering him required listening for young fans of, say, Solange or Julien Baker. But for longtime, oft-frustrated lovers of Costello’s work, the arrival of a thoroughly satisfying album, a set of sharply beautiful songs also pertinent to everyday concerns—rather than padding Costello’s quiver of acquired styles or the self-mythology of our Beloved Entertainer—is more than enough cause to get happy.
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 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:49 pm

https://www.thedailybeast.com/elvis-cos ... ith-cancer

CLEARING THE AIR
Elvis Costello Is Mad as Hell: ‘I’ll Punch the Next Person’ Who Says I’m Struggling With Cancer
The celebrated musician opens up about his new album ‘Look Now’ and the offensive rumors surrounding his health.

“I know that’s a very attractive headline to say I’ve got cancer, but it’s just not founded in fact,” Elvis Costello insists after I mention a recent story that said he was in remission.

“I’m not going to critique other writers, because I had a very nice conversation with a young man the other day, and 99.9 percent of the article he wrote was really interesting, but he used the word ‘remission’ to describe my health, and therefore his editor decided to put cancer in the headline,” Costello explains, noticeably still upset about the incident. “I’m not in remission because I didn’t have cancer. How could I be in remission? I was relieved of something that may have caused cancer. So out of respect to my friends who recently have lost that particular fight, and to those that continue to have it, of which I have rather too many, I’d rather everyone get the words right.”

In fact, Costello and I had corresponded last summer, and he had claimed then he was fine, if a bit shocked that anyone cared about his health, after headlines that made it sound like he was at death’s door when he’d been forced to cancel a string of live shows.

“I went out on the road too soon,” he confesses. “We’d played some sensational shows, but then one night I lost all my power in the middle of the show. I thought, ‘This isn’t right. It’s not right for the band. And the audience isn’t getting what I want to give them. I just need more time to get my strength back, that’s all.’ I then gave a statement because I didn’t want to make it seem like I was just irresponsible. I thought, ‘Well, maybe some good will come of this, and that other people will be lucky like me.’”

“But unfortunately, that was not enough for tabloids in England,” Costello continues. “They wanted to make a big drama out of it and suggest that I was dying. So next thing, I had to explain it to my 91-year-old mother, and I had to sit my boys down, who are 11, and speak to them about it. Then I was getting letters from strangers, and letters from all my friends. It was really unfortunate. And it then becomes a thing that’s attached to your name. And it made me think, if I’d just canceled seven shows and said I’d felt like going on holiday, you’d have been none the wiser. So I’ll punch the next person that puts ‘He struggles with cancer.’ It makes me furious, because it’s so disrespectful to somebody who’s really struggling. Think about it for a second, it’s not a laughing matter. We all have friends who genuinely are frightened for their lives against a mortal illness. And they deserve our respect.”

All of this may lead you to believe that Costello is still the “angry young man” he made his name as during the late-‘70s punk explosion, and who produced that remarkable string of albums during the ‘80s—with and without his band The Attractions. In fact he's become a revered elder statesman of rock, albeit one who continues to collaborate with everyone from Burt Bacharach—who co-wrote several songs and appears on Costello’s new album Look Now—to Questlove and The Roots, and who name-checks Nicki Minaj.

“It’d be fanciful for me to think that I’m in a race in the charts with Nicki Minaj,” a chuckling Costello says of the prospects for his new album. “It’s just not what I’m doing. But I love her music, by the way. Most of my favorite music is what they call ‘pop music’ now. I don’t much go with the boxing-off of music, because that will just lead to the death of it. We live in a world of plentiful possibility now, though there still needs to be a way so that you can pick your way through it. Otherwise you’re looking for needles in a big haystack.”

Still, Look Now ranks among Costello’s best work and will surely find an audience. It hearkens back to the broad, almost CinemaScope perspective of his 1982 masterpiece Imperial Bedroom, which Costello paid homage to on tour last year with his current band, the Imposters, and which informed his ambitions on Look Now, albeit through the lens of a 64-year-old.

“We didn’t have then where we are right now,” Costello’s says, reflecting on the chaotic sessions for Imperial Bedroom. “Now we have trust.”

The contributions of drummer Pete Thomas and keyboard virtuoso Steve Nieve are remarkable throughout Look Now, and, along with bassist Davey Faragher—embellished by gorgeous vocal arrangements and string and horn parts written by Costello himself—serve the songs in sympathetic, and often surprising, ways.

“I’m not being sentimental, but I have spent a lot of time with Pete and Steve,” Costello says. “We have been through lots of seasons, and lots of different fortunes. Time brings changes in your life, independently. You start to lose friends, and you say goodbye to members of your family. They’re things that are part of everybody’s experiences in life, but they make you a slightly different person when you start trying to tell stories like the stories on Look Now.”

Recorded at New York’s Electric Lady Studios and Los Angeles’s EastWest and United Recording, Look Now couples the elegance of Painted From Memory, Costello’s 1998 collaboration with Bacharach, with the urgency of his 1978s breakthrough album, This Year’s Model.

“I know I’ll sound almost entirely fancifully, but this is This Year’s Model 2,” Costello offers. “Literally, this is the second edition of This Year’s Model. But this is This Year’s Model 2, because it also is a model for how to write songs, how to record, and how I feel about things at this point in my life. It isn’t supposed to be competing for your attention. It’s what it is. And if that isn’t what people want, what can I do about it?”

Costello is also circumspect about the state of the music industry in 2018, and doesn’t seem too worried that Look Now will make its mark.

“You know the story about the Velvet Underground?” he asks. “They didn’t sell any records, but then everybody who did buy the record started a band. That’s legend, at least, whether or not it’s real, there’s some sort of truth to it. There’s music that resonates in ways that has nothing to do with sales. Of course, this record would’ve had a different commercial life if I’d released it 10 or 20 years ago, but do you honestly think that my record label doesn’t know that? So I know I’ve made a good record. And we made a record of what this band sounds like at this moment, singing these songs that I care about, that I gathered together in a way we felt we wanted to present them now. The stories are all true-to-life stories, and it’s a record that doesn’t contain any moralizing or judgment. In fact, a lot of the time it’s people struggling with something, mostly with their own worst impulses. As you do!”

As we wrap up, Costello returns to where we began. Because he wants to set the record straight, and because the rumors of his demise have not only been greatly exaggerated but have affected him in a profound way.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world where people would rather trade in melodrama than they would in fact,” he says, clearly fired up again. “And that’s true of a lot of things, aren’t they. I’m not being falsely modest here, but my well-being is not a major thing. It’s a major thing to the people who love me, and it turns out, a lot of people whose names I didn’t know would send me good wishes, but in the greater scheme of things, in the good and bad of the world, it’s not a major thing whether I’m well or unwell. The world will keep turning if I don’t make any more records, sing any more songs, record any more songs, or anything else. It’s just getting it in proportion. When it’s happening to you, yes, it’s upsetting but it didn’t affect anything about my judgment—except to make me grateful to do what I love to do, which is sing.”

He adds, “And maybe there’ll be another time to record, and maybe there won’t. Maybe there’ll be more time. But maybe there won’t…”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sheeptotheslaughter
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sheeptotheslaughter » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:26 am

When he hits the falsetto on Suspect my tears I get all goosebumpy. I think I have just made a word up.
I have been waiting with baited breath for Neil.'s review and he didn't disappoint. And I agree with him on the whole. the david bowie boxset has sort of got in the way of me listening to LOOK NOW.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:14 am

A fine word, I'd say, and very useful for this album. Finding I'm still overwhelmed in listening to it. I'm really trying not to say that I think it is one of the very best he's done. As someone said above, this venture is so thick with ideas, melodies, images, that it takes time for the songs to "separate." I'm finding that i'll get about six songs in and a song will start and i'll think oh, i though i'd hear this melody already. no, 'here' it is! But, in the past, I've found this to be a hint of a great, coherent album. Very happy. (Now waiting on Mogic by Hen Ogledd later in November, and the white album deluge, of course). I've got to say again that Elvis is spot on talking about how fabulous are the Imposters. GREAT vocals throughout, and not over-sung or over- wrought but careful and affecting and deeply emotional. Wow. And, again, the production is fabulous.

(and the falsetto is scrupdelicous to the point of goosebumpy, in suspect my tears and he's given me things and i let the sun go down, too :)
Last edited by jardine on Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Neil.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Neil. » Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:23 am

sheeptotheslaughter wrote:I have been waiting with baited breath for Neil.'s review and he didn't disappoint. And I agree with him on the whole.


LOL, Sheep!

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby verbal gymnastics » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:04 pm

So for everybody who's been saying this is the new Imperial Bedroom or Painted From Memory, we all now know this is This Year's Model 2!
Look at me now
My how things have changed

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby jardine » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:43 pm

As per the underlime lyric video!!!

Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Elvis Costello General Discussion
Topic: Look Now: new album announced!
Replies: 261
Views: 19404
Re: Look Now: new album announced!
under lime lyric video at 5:05 says "This Year's Model T Look Now"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMKkQtH75R8

so now i'm thinking, well, it does have that sort of solidity and consistency and punch of a band at its best and a songwriter in a wonderful spot.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby OnesNamedAlfie » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:09 pm

Nowhere near enough guitar to be TYM2. This Year's Re-model, perhaps, given much of the subject matter and how EC takes the female role rather than merely the viewpoint.

I'm over-analysing, aren't I.....?

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby sweetest punch » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:21 pm

And No Coffee Table wrote:
millaa wrote:I don't know if this has been discussed already, but a couple of UK retailers are listing the double vinyl version with 4 different tracks. It's probably an error because the way they have been labelled are the same, but anyone know anything?

Everyone’s Playing House
The Lovers That Never Were
If You Love Me
Down On The Bottom

https://www.recordstore.co.uk/recordsto ... WYO0000000
https://thesoundofvinyl.com/*/Pre-Order ... WYO0ASN000

I'm still wondering if this really exists! It's now release day, and the two websites linked above plus this one are the only ones I can find that have this track listing.

Has anyone seen a copy?

Anyone?
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 jardine » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:28 am

something discussed on hoffman starting to make a bit of sense. love this cd on earphones, but when i play it on my system, it sounds...how do i put this? ... too loud, or, better, like a solid wall of sound that, when i turn it up to hear various elements, nothing seems to 'stand out' exactly. hard to describe. i've heard tech terms like compression and so on. don't really understand the ins and outs, but there is no sonic . . .what? . . . depth of field. not at all as noticeable with earphones. strange.

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Ymaginatif » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:28 am

First impression: I feel he finally picked up where he left off with 'All This Useless Beauty' in 1996 ...
More about me (including some Elvis Costello covers): http://ymaginatifandmusic.blogspot.com/

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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Poor Deportee » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:56 pm

This is indeed a mature, sophisticated, gorgeous pop album. And that suits me just fine. I've always seen Elvis as a pop artist more than a visceral rock and roller, which he really only was on TYM.

It's a gorgeous album sonically. The production, the musicianship, the lush backing vocals - it's all superb.

He's compared it to IB and I understand why: it gives us Elvis Costello the world-weary sophisticate, one of my favourite of his incarnations; but it gives us a version that is laced with more authentic compassion than is perhaps in evidence on IB.

My one complaint is with the vibrato. I never liked his turn towards a strained vibrato in the 1990s and was heartened when 'National Ransom' and the wonderful 'Wise Up Ghost' saw him reverting to more relaxed and natural singing styles. But this quibble is counterbalanced by the fact that the instrument of his voice is warmer and deeper and more resonant than in his early days.

A question here. Am I the only person who likes 'Adieu Paris?' Sure, it's kitschy, but it's also wonderfully atmospheric, the lyrics are polished, the accent brazen, and it carries the persona of 'world-weary sophisticate' to perhaps the most extreme distance that he's ever capture on record. A wonderfully evocative, fun track IMHO.

But the real masterpiece here - one of the very best songs he's ever done - is 'I Let the Sun Go Down.' Everything about it, from the restrained, poignant vocal and sublime lyrics, to the knowing evocations of the mid-60s Kinks ('Decline and Fall'), the lilting Beatlesque backing vocals and, for a final treat, the David Cameron whistling at the end, is simply brilliant. A superb standout track on a gorgeous record.
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 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:54 pm

"'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. As for Adieu, being Canadian, i'm used to a wide "range" of French accents, and i think the song itself...some cohen in there and other old, left bank-ish, 1940s mixtures. AT LEAST a lovely experiment i want to hear again. i find the vibrato far more settled down than it has been at times.

Neil.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Neil. » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:02 pm

Poor Deportee - I don't dislike 'Adieu Paris' as a song, I just find Elvis's French accent distracts from it. He rolls the Rs with his tongue, but the French don't do that, they make a vibration in the back of their mouth without using their tongue, a bit like the way Roy Orbison makes the purring cat noise in 'Pretty Woman'. So his misjudged accent sounds a bit cringy, bit like a Londoner off on holiday to 'MarBELL-ah'! But the song's okay!

Yeah, 'I Let The Sun Go Down' is an amazing piece of work. I got the Cameron inference, but hadn't cottoned on to the whistling! Who knows, it might even be the same tune Cameron used as he turned his back on us all after his disastrous gambit.
Last edited by Neil. on Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Neil.
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Neil. » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:12 pm

Neil. wrote:Who knows, it might even be the same tune Cameron used as he turned his back on us all after his disastrous gambit.


Thinking about it, I kinda hope that's not true - we really don't want the songwriting credits to read "Cameron/Costello"!!!!

Poor Deportee
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Poor Deportee » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:01 pm

Oh my God, once you twig to the Cameron reference, it is impossible to go back. Just the perfect final touch to a career-highlight song.

Neil, I'm tolerably bilingual - another Canadian - and don't like the rolled Rs either; but then again I don't think he is really pretending to be anything other than an Englishman (in Paris!) on that cut. And that's the sort of heavy accent in which non-native speakers indulge. So, they don't really bother me, but I do wish he had just gone with the anglicized 'Rs.' Still really enjoy the cut, as a whole.
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 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:07 pm

At least he didn't try the Diefenbaker (a Canadian insider joke).

Heats101
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby Heats101 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:11 pm

Had the pleasure of half a dozen listens to the standard version (the deluxe is still on its way despite a pre order!). Agree with so many of the comments to date. "Gorgeous" is so apt and it does take multiple listens to get a feel for the work and differentiate between the MANY brilliant songs. I believe I am at that stage now as I wake up each morning with the songs in my head and which stay for the rest of the day- that's my bench mark of a mighty fine album.
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.
My ardent hope is that this Album deservedly sells in significant numbers as if not I fear Elvis may "spit the dummy out again" as per National Ransom and threaten to not record again. Final thought regarding Why Won't Heaven Help Me, the part (bridge or chorus?) starting ...."Hey you out there!..... Even if you dare" sends a shiver up my spine. :D
Good manners and bad breath get you nowhere

cwr
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Re: Look Now: new album announced!

Postby cwr » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:00 pm

This album is a dream come true-- if you search this fan forum for my name and "Burnt Sugar," you will find a ton of posts dating back a decade where all I do is wish for an orchestral pop album with The Imposters where they record both "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter" and "Suspect My Tears," always pointing to how great the song "Impatience" sounded and how I wish they'd do a whole album like that.

From the opening track masterpiece, "Under Lime" to the astonishing closer "He's Given Me Things" and then its 4 superb bonus tracks, this is everything I could have hoped for and more.

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.

I don't know how he does it but the songs on LOOK NOW don't easily harken back to any other songs in his catalog-- the guy still manages to avoid repeating himself, even when making an album that is admittedly in the spirit of previous records he's made. This is definitely the love child of IbMePdErRoIoAmL and Painted From Memory, and yet there aren't too many tracks on those albums that could trade places undetected-- this album very much has its own vibe.

Having waiting two decades for "Burnt Sugar" it still managed to surprise me! In a good way-- I still have my treasured 1999 live recording but I love the horns and the guitar and what the backing singers bring to it. And "Suspect My Tears" finally sounds exactly the way it should.

Assuming that Costello isn't exaggerating about having writing TWENTY-FIVE new songs with Bacharach over the past decade, the 3 songs on this record feel like a pretty significant tease. So, there are TWENTY-TWO unheard Costello/Bacharach songs? Jesus Christ, that's nearly two more Painted From Memorys. I don't know if half of those are songs for the unproduced Austin Powers musical, but I hope at the very least we get to hear some Costello demos of these someday...

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...


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