Review : Elvis Costello - Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
SpinElvis Costello has always been an idiom savant, pin- balling through arsenic-laced pub rock (My Aim Is True), amphetamine-addled soul (Get Happy!!), and highbrow chamber pop (The Juliet Letters). His latest showcases another readymade style: dirt-floor Americana. Pairing with producer T-Bone Burnett (who helmed 1986's rootsy antecedent King of America) and a distinguished pickup band of country heavyweights, he gives his typically fussed-over tunes a tent-revival authority. With alchemical highlights that include back-porch foot-stompers ("Hidden Shame"), torchy weepers ("I Felt the Chill"), and a tenderhearted, set-closing waltz ("Changing Partners"), Secret testifies to the merits of aging gracefully....full text
BlogcriticsFor those who haven't noticed, stripped-down, acoustically based music has made quite a comeback of late -- specifically that of the Appalachian variety. And from John Mellencamp's Life Death Love And Freedom to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Grammy-sweeping smash Raising Sand, producer T-Bone Burnett has been right there at the center of most of it.
So it's little surprise then that Elvis Costello recruited Burnett to produce his most recent attempt at what amounts to a stripped-down country record.
It's not Costello's first try at this either, nor is it his first time working with Burnett, who also produced his albums King Of America (which had many of the same elements found here) and Spike (which didn't). Costello's very first stab at making this type of album actually goes all the way back to 1981's Almost Blue, an album of covers by people like George Jones, which is mostly best left forgotten....full text
TelegraphFrom classical to Burt Bacharach, Costello has his fingers in so many pies these days, that this dalliance in fiddly, old-time country music almost feels like a return to base camp....full text
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