16 Songs, 1 Hour 2 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since 2008’s Momofuku, his last album with The Imposters—essentially his original band, The Attractions, with a different bassist—Elvis Costello has, as he is wont to do, dabbled in a range of other genres. There’s been bluegrass and rootsy Americana with T Bone Burnett; even funky, hip-hop-infused soul with The Roots. While he tackled those outings with reverence and exuberance—the results were gorgeously unique in a way that only he could achieve—his 25th album, Look Now, feels like that most comfortable pair of jeans. Coming after Costello's announcement of a successful recovery from cancer surgery, this welcome return to the styles (and the bandmates) that first elevated him mixes sophisticated pop-rock with singer-songwriter fare that’s as opulent as it is introspective.

“Under Lime” and “Unwanted Number” are classic Costello rockers, full of '60s-inspired soul hooks and swooping minor-key changes that hit on a visceral level. So is “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter,” a cowrite with Carole King 20 years in the making, with a chorus that sounds lifted from Gaucho-era Steely Dan. And if tunes like “Photographs Can Lie” or “Stripping Paper”—particularly its tinkling piano intro—sound like the work of another songwriting legend, it’s no accident: Costello's frequent collaborator Burt Bacharach helped pen a number of the record's aching chamber-pop ballads.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Since 2008’s Momofuku, his last album with The Imposters—essentially his original band, The Attractions, with a different bassist—Elvis Costello has, as he is wont to do, dabbled in a range of other genres. There’s been bluegrass and rootsy Americana with T Bone Burnett; even funky, hip-hop-infused soul with The Roots. While he tackled those outings with reverence and exuberance—the results were gorgeously unique in a way that only he could achieve—his 25th album, Look Now, feels like that most comfortable pair of jeans. Coming after Costello's announcement of a successful recovery from cancer surgery, this welcome return to the styles (and the bandmates) that first elevated him mixes sophisticated pop-rock with singer-songwriter fare that’s as opulent as it is introspective.

“Under Lime” and “Unwanted Number” are classic Costello rockers, full of '60s-inspired soul hooks and swooping minor-key changes that hit on a visceral level. So is “Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter,” a cowrite with Carole King 20 years in the making, with a chorus that sounds lifted from Gaucho-era Steely Dan. And if tunes like “Photographs Can Lie” or “Stripping Paper”—particularly its tinkling piano intro—sound like the work of another songwriting legend, it’s no accident: Costello's frequent collaborator Burt Bacharach helped pen a number of the record's aching chamber-pop ballads.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

TGF ,

A Return to Greatness

Of the songs available on this release, Costello and the Imposters have captured an expressive, emotional narrative of love and pain. With hints of Motown, Bacarach, and classical Costello irony, this album is a reinvention and extension of the band's repertoire. Cannot wait to hear the rest.

Steve Allen ,

Great album!

There’s nothing like new Costello music. This album doesn’t disappoint. Very musical.

The Bradleyss ,

Wow!

Reminds me of 80s-era Elvis -- Get Happy!!, Imperial Bedroom, Punch the Clock, King of America. No Bacherack-pretenses, no C&W covers. A great LP.

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