North (Decca)

Elvis Costello 

North (Decca)

Last year, Elvis Costello released When I Was Cruel, one of his best recordings since the '80s. This year, the mercurial, pop-besotted Costello seems to want to be taken seriously, and North is serious indeed. It also sounds like a collection of love songs memorializing his engagement to Diana Krall, the Canadian chanteuse who's made jazz sexy all over again.

The album boasts ornate arrangements and unusually careful vocals. North sounds like money; if nothing else, it attests to the clout befitting an artist in his third decade of genre-hopping and -influencing. Unfortunately, North is also monochromatic. Even though the instrumentation spans solo piano and a 48-piece ensemble, the tunes blend into one another and are resolutely slow. Perhaps that's part of Costello's strategy: Corral "serious" music lovers with albums like North and his many collaborations, then reconnect with his old audience with albums like Cruel. Maybe next year, he'll choose invention over craft and grace his patient fans with an album that's serious and playful.

Latest in CD Reviews

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

From the Archives

  • Various Artists

    Freddy Vs. Jason Soundtrack (Roadrunner)
    • Aug 6, 2003
  • King Britt

    Adventures in Lo-Fi (BBE/Rapster)
    • Aug 6, 2003
  • More »

Site Search

Facebook Activity

© 2014 Cleveland Scene: 1468 West Ninth Street, Suite 805, Cleveland, OH 44113, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation