9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 May 2008
I have listened to Costello's music for what seems like for ever and have enjoyed the varied styles of music that he has recorded. His different interests in a variety of music have been like a journey - a musical education for his fans. I have enjoyed them all, save for 'For the Stars', although even that had some intersting stuff on it. Despite enjoying all the diverse style's of music then, it's his rock/pop records that hold my real attention. Therefore when I heard Momofuku for the first time, I was chuffed to say the least.
Momofuku has great songs, great lyrics, a great band and a great sound. On first listening it reminded me of Blood and Chocolate, but on repeated listenings as the songs come into there own I have realised that it is a very different record to that one and is quite a unique album for him. American Gangster Time as other reviewers have pointed out does remind you of early Costello and for me Mr. Feathers and Harry Worth remind me of songs that could perhaps sit comfortably on Spike. Mr. Feathers equally reminds me of 60's era Kinks in the sound and in the phrasing - could just be me though. Mr Feather's is one of my personal favourites at the moment along with Stella Hurt and Go Away, which are both pounding guitar driven songs, which make you go back to them again and again.
My Three sons is possibly the most direct and personal song I have heard Costello sing. The obvious love he feels for his three sons in this song comes through but doesn't sound cringy in the slightest. The weakest song for me is Song with Rose, but it's no where near a bad song, it just doesn't have the punch that the other tracks do - yet anyway.
A great album that many people, more than just fans of Costello, should own. Ideally this should be viewed as one of the great albums of 2008, but sadly it will probably be overlooked for some commercial drivel.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2008
This may not be the return to Vintage Costello that older fans have been waiting for, but it's not far off. It's definitely his best album since Blood & Chocolate (although any Costello release always has something to recommend it). Significantly on this one he seems to be having FUN. Bashed out over a week in February our Elvis seems to be rejuvanated by having the kids round (both his new twin boys and the musical scamps who gatecrash his party), which include Jenny Lewis and her beau Johnathan Rice as well drummer Pete Thomas's drumming daughter Tennessee.
Right from the word go Costello is in prime in-your-face form with No Hiding Place and particularly American Gangster Time (this one especially features a classic Steve Nieve '60's organ line that'll send you right back to Pump It Up). Over the following 10 tracks Costello moves from rockers, to country ballads to a touchingly autobiographical My Three Sons and finally to Go Away with a 96 Tears-like organ track that you'll be trying to get out of your head long after you've heard it.
On Drum and Bone he declares himself "a limited, primitive kind of man" and to some extent that's reflected in the music here - tracks that make you want to stomp and sway rather than sit and ponder. Lyrically though he's as astute as ever. "I'd rather go blind for speaking my mind" he says on American Gangster Time and so he does time after time.
Off the pop radar for some time now Momofuku probably won't change this, but for those of us in the know it's a time for celebration - Elvis is in the building.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Recorded in a week and originally released on vinyl only, 'Momofuku' (named after the inventor of instant cup noodles) is a very pleasant surprise from Costello who had recently, in interview, said that he had no plans to release any new material for a while. There is no cause to believe that Elvis was bluffing at the time because this whole album happened organically when he turned up to provide vocals for a Jenny Lewis album and, having the Imposters there (who were also working with Lewis) the personnel and location led to Elvis being inspired to write and record a new album right there and then. The immediacy and energy which sparked and influenced the recording of 'Momofuku' has culminated in Elvis & The Imposters releasing a truly brilliant album which sporadically sports an early-career Attractions sound but is, from start to finish, a genuine treat for the longtime Elvis Costello fan and well as any lovers of great music who perhaps haven't discovered the full extent of his genius just yet..
So, that's the preamble - now for the music itself.
Starting proceedings, the immediately arresting 'No Hiding Place' is Elvis at his catchiest and, given the fact that the whole album was recorded so quickly, sounds incredibly well-formed and polished, especially the backing vocals of the 'supergroup' (Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Dave Scher and bassist Davey Faragher). The high-quality feel of the album continues with the superb 'American Gangster Time', another instant Costello classic. The first thing that hits you about it is the brilliant Steve Nieve Vox Continental organ-line, reminiscent, in parts, of 'Pump It Up'. Boasting a powerful, stomping ending, it really is brilliant, urgent, vital stuff and would, I hazard a guess, sound fantastic live.
'Turpentine', a very enjoyable rhythmic track, featuring an almost tribal tom-tom beat from Pete, has a moody feel to the verse and then an uplifting chorus, giving the track an interesting, varied texture. Next up we have 'Harry Worth', a laid-back, jazzy song, which is the first track on the album reminiscent of late 80's/early 90's solo Elvis material rather than his Attractions days. Following that, 'Drum And Bone' is a low-key, foot-tapping and yet vaguely menacing song in which Elvis proclaims that he's a "limited, primitive kind of man" - a case of lyrics and music working in perfect harmony on this particular composition.
The next track, 'Flutter & Wow', could have easily been a track from Elvis' collaboration album with Allen Toussaint (The River In Reverse), being a rather lovely, gentle, melodic and soulful track performed with real passion. However - as a direct and possibly deliberate contrast - the following track, 'Stella Hurt', is a incredibly catchy, minor-key, mid-paced rocker which harnesses some of that early album energy and highlights the powerful drumming of Pete Thomas' daughter, Tennessee, and the accentuating, punctuating organ of Nieve.
'Mr. Feathers', a piano-driven stroll, whilst bringing to mind tracks from 'Spike', also reminds me of the character-based songwriting of Ray Davies, but - regardless of the musical references it conjures up - it's a brilliant original song. As is 'My Three Sons', a straightforwardly sentimental tribute to his sons which, in the hands of many other artists, could easily have sounded ham-fisted, slushy or sugary but Elvis handles the subject matter with sophisticated, genuine sincerity and his love shines through in such a way that we're able to share it rather than merely observe.
'Song With Rose' (co-written with Roseanne Cash), appears to be a slightly unremarkable song at first, but - if you give it a couple of listens - the beauty of the composition slowly reveals itself, especially during the climax of the piece. Steve's subtle piano-work really shines as do Elvis' vocals. Immediately, 'Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve' (co-written with Loretta Lynn) reminded me of 'Less Than Zero' and, while it - as a whole - lacks a little of the immediacy and youth of 'My Aim Is True' era-McManus, is it an oddly-satisfying mix of the old rock and new country flavours of Costello's work. The album closer, 'Go Away', is another classic, mid-paced Imposters rocker, featuring a very groovy beat and an immensely catchy 'Brutal Youth'-esque chorus, wrapping up the proceedings very nicely indeed.
Simply put, 'Momofuku' is yet another highlight in a career literally filled with highlights. I would have to put this wholly satisfying album alongside 'When I Was Cruel' and 'The Delivery Man' in terms of content and quality and am absolutely delighted to have another album of such fantastic original material from Elvis and the Imposters. With every listen, a little more of the album is absorbed and my love of this record just grows and grows. Without doubt, a solid five stars for this truly great release.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I try and give time to everything this man releases, but I haven't repeat played any of his albums since All This Useless Beauty. That's not to say there aren't good moments on The Delivery Man, When I Was Cruel, Brutal Youth, River In Reverse etc but I found them a little difficult to get through.
This is a looser album than any of those, with a wider variety (its almost like the days of Imperial Bedroom when you didn't know what style of song would be coming next). Sonically its reminiscent of Blood & Chocolate with a few echoes of the new wave days.
The songs are great. American Gangster time has a superb chorus. Turpentine has so many hooks you end up dazzled. Flutter & Wow, Go Away, Song With Eve and Harry Worth add loads of variety into the mix.
The true test, however, is that I have been playing it almost uninterrupted on my ipod for the last 2 weeks. My favourite Costello album since at least as far back as Spike. Wonderful.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2008
Wow!! Whether you like Costello fast, slow, thoughtful or pure punk there is something on here for everyone. No Hiding Place has a feel of Trust to it while Pardon Me, Madam, My name is Eve has echos of Useless Beauty. Drum and Bone is the favourite to turn up the volume and put the throttle down to. Flutter and Wow is one for the girlies, it is stunning. Listen and melt ! Stella Hurt comes with lots of distortion and demands the bass hyped up. And as ever there is a track for which we humbley thank you for raising awarness of the cause, this one is Mr. Feathers. If this doesn't make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end then you aint human. It isn't easy to listen to but it isn't meant to be.
Every parent in the world will relate to My Three Sons. Poignant, beautiful and from the heart.
There really isn't a bad track on this album. Put it on, dont go skipping tracks and you will be rating it amongst your favourite Elvis albums in no time at all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2009
Elvis Costello recently hosted a television series called 'Spectacle' where he interviewed many respected names from a diverse range of music. He has an extensive knowledge of music which really came through. This album also illustrates that love of music that he has, across many genres. I'm a huge fan and have to respect people that obviously have that love for music.
I think this is the best thing he's done for a long time. I also have very diverse music tastes and really enjoy listening to music by artists that have a real ferverance for their craft, artists (like Costello) that are very often underrated and overlooked. Great records are out there for people who care to delve beyond the commercially 'hyped' (and sadly often mediocre) releases!
I believe the album was made very quickly, as great albums always were (too much technology can often slow and hinder the creative process). The record has many highlights, including Turpentine (classic Costello), My Three Sons, which reminds me of David Ackles, and Go Away are all amazing. I'd recommend this to anyone, five stars.
on 11 August 2013
Elvis Costello's 2008 album "Momofuku" is really Costello back to basics. No refined arrangements, but simple basic rock/pop music which is really what Costello does best. The recordings were apparently done very quickly and the sound is often somewhat raw. But the sound really suits the songs, which are generally of high standards.
The first time I listened through the album, I was a bit disappointed, feeling that there really wasn't anything new to find. Well, this may be so, but then there many great songs. Especially among the slower songs you really meet Costello at his best songwriting.
"Mr Feathers" is is great classic Costello type ballad, spiced up with a bit of psychedelia and some odd angles.
"Flutter and Wow" and "Pardon Me Madam" and more bluesy songs but still both and melodic.
This brings me to the two standouts. "Song With Rose" is a great mid-tempo song, with a great Byrds-type guitar riff. Fine female harmony vocals too. Costello at his very best.
The same could be said about "My Three Sons" - the first song I fell i love with, and just had to get my guitar and play along with. Very moving lyrics, too.
Of course there is a handful of Costello rockers, that do not sound very different than the rockers on his first three albums. Most of them quite enjoyable. In fact a very enjoyable album overall.