Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
CA
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Canada version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Oct-18 > BEST NEW RELEASE OCTOBER 2018

BEST NEW RELEASE OCTOBER 2018

NEW RELEASES

© James O’Mara

ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS

LOOK NOW

CONCORD RECORDS

COSTELLO AGAIN PROVES HE’S A MASTER OF DISGUISE, ADOPTING VARIOUS PERSONALITIES – AND EMPLOYING CELEBRITY GUESTS JUDICIOUSLY – ON THIS LATE-PERIOD HIGH POINT

At the risk of sounding like someone craving jumpers for goalposts: they don’t make them like this anymore. Not often, anyway.

But what, precisely, does that mean? In Elvis Costello’s case, five decades into his career, it means an album of remarkable narratives and crafty melodies, of cunning arrangements and immaculate performances, and of striking metaphors and left turns so subtle – structurally, melodically and lyrically – that the listener doesn’t even realise they’re facing in a different direction.

It is, therefore, no wonder that Burt Bacharach and Carole King make significant contributions. Not that they’re needed: raucous opener Under Lime, which has all the vitality of Costello’s early work, illustrates his deft articulacy right from its opening line – “It’s a long way down from the high horse you’re on” – before sharing a cryptic story of a faded star making a wretched appearance on a TV show (and no prizes for guessing which): “He’s the mystery guest we’ll puncture”. Also striking is the McCartney-esque I Let The Sun Go Down, its imagery of a fading British Empire – “John Bull got caught with his pants down again”– perhaps doubling as an obituary for David Cameron’s career.

Yet Costello not only spins stories, but also plays roles convincingly, with Look Now repeatedly finding him playing female characters. There’s Stripping Paper, where he’s a weary wife reminded how her relationship used not to be so hollow, and the deceptively chirpy Unwanted Number, whose central figure elaborates on the role her father has played keeping her in unhappy, possibly abusive relationships.

On the Bacharach-assisted He’s Given Me Things, too, Costello addresses the complex and unlikely topic of a kept woman justifying this association to a former lover; while on the mysteriously succinct Don’t Look Now, which finds Bacharach on piano, (s)he even flirts sensuously with the male gaze.

But the best illustration of Costello’s gift for complexity made accessible is Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter. Written with Carole King, it focuses on a woman reduced to vitriol by her husband’s actions, and how, in accepting the blame for them, she in turn justifies his behaviour. The logic is worthy of John Updike’s Rabbit, and it’s a testament to Costello that he should inspire such lofty comparisons so deep into his career. Wyndham Wallace

READ MORE
Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Classic Pop - Oct-18
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - Oct-18
$5.49
Or 549 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.33 per issue
SAVE
21%
$51.99
Or 5199 points

View Issues

About Classic Pop

Issue 45 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue our cover stars are Boy George and Culture Club – we grab an in-depth interview with the iconic singer and guitarist Roy Hay as the band return with their first studio album in almost 20 years. We also find out what life was like inside Prince's backing group The Revolution from band member Lisa Coleman and hear from the Purple One's archivist Michael Howe about further unreleased material from the legendary singer. Need a buyer's guide to Pet Shop Boys? We look at the duo's complete career in our Lowdown feature. Former Fairground Attraction frontwoman Eddi Reader tells us all about her new album Cavalier and we also meet Sister Sledge who look back on their disco heyday. New albums from Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Blancmange and Neneh Cherry get the once-over alongside reissues by Yazoo, Pixies, Cocteau Twins, David Sylvian and much more. We also review live shows including Gabrielle, Simple Minds and The Proclaimers. Enjoy the issue!