Sunday, November 14, 2010

Listen Up

With 48 studio albums, compilations and collaborations recorded to date, Brit music superstar Elvis Costello, released his twenty-ninth studio album National Ransom November 2. As his second collaboration with music mogul T-Bone Burnett, National is a seemingly disorganized blend of bluegrass, blues, Broadway and vaudeville, but is stitched together seamlessly with Costello's rich, witty and beautiful lyrics. Each evocative song is assigned an exact place and time ("A Drawing Room in Pimlico, London, 1919"), moving through the years and tying each song to the next. Permanently filed away in my Top 10, is "That's Not the Part of Him You're Leaving" and "You Hung the Moon," both of which capture heartache, beauty and juxebox grit. Thougha fantastic leap from his New Wave-y pop from years past, National is a striking album of heartbreak, hope, happiness and pure Costello.

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