If I want reliability I'll FedEx it.
The Delivery Man he may be, but this is a long overdue package: a much welcome, if not totally successful, return to form by Elvis Costello. He can write beautifully, but as with all of his stuff he just doesn't know when to stop writing more and more bloody words.
Still, backed by The Imposters (or the Almost Attractions - Steve Nieve, Davey Faragher and Pete Thomas) this is one of the best sounding and best played albums in a dog's age from the one-time Declan MacManus.
I don't mean that to be faint praise, because aside from one or two mis-steps, this is a darned fine band album. Recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, it has a great live feel to it (it really sounds like it is being played by a band playing together).
Better yet, there are some excellent guest vocal contributions from Lucinda Williams and, particularly, Emmylou Harris (the gorgeous "Heart Shaped Bruise" and the closing "Scarlet Tide").
It's great to have him back.
I'm not sure what the latest Mrs C will think of the dedication on the album: "This record is for my wife"; nice sentiment, but, eh, which wife? Sorry...