Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Costello
I'm an enthusiastic admirer of Elvis Costello's work. So much so, that I went to six of his "Spectacular Spinning Songbook" shows this year and have all of his albums, even the more obscure stuff, so I was looking forward to this collaboration with The Roots immensely, especially given some of the extremely positive reviews. However, after owning this album for a while...
Published 15 months ago by Andy Sweeney

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder...
I am a big fan of Elvis Costello and really love a lot of the Roots stuff especially Questlove's drumming and production.
This album really doesn't do justice to either party. It is a shame as I was really looking forward to this collaboration.
The songs just kind of meander around one chord grooves. The production sounds like they knocked it up in an afternoon...
Published 16 months ago by Joe Herzberg


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary Costello, 18 Nov. 2013
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
I'm an enthusiastic admirer of Elvis Costello's work. So much so, that I went to six of his "Spectacular Spinning Songbook" shows this year and have all of his albums, even the more obscure stuff, so I was looking forward to this collaboration with The Roots immensely, especially given some of the extremely positive reviews. However, after owning this album for a while and giving it many, many plays, I have to conclude that it's not quite as brilliant as some critics have painted it and that it's simply a very good piece of work, rather than one of his very best. Of course, it's a highly listenable affair, with crisp beats, funky bass-lines, brass punctuation and impassioned performances from all involved. Costello himself is almost rapping his biting lyrics and The Roots' input and arrangements certainly give this project a different feel to anything he has ever released before, so it's most definitely interesting and for Costello, a man of many musical guises, to come up with something so different at this stage in his career is no small achievement. In addition, one of the small pleasures listening to this album for someone familiar with his back catalogue is to name the original songs where many of the lyrics have been lifted from and adapted.

There are a few choice cuts from "Wise Up Ghost". "Refuse To Be Saved" (featuring lyrics from "Invasion Hit Parade" from "Mighty Like A Rose") is an immense, high-energy track which ends with a maelstrom of orchestral instruments augmenting the sparse beats and brass riffs, "Tripwire", a lovely near re-working of "Satellite" (from "Spike"), is a rare delicate and tender moment in an otherwise upbeat bunch of compositions and "Viceroy's Row" has a near-hypnotic hook and features one of the more prominent melodies on the album as well as a beautiful disjointed piano on the penultimate verse. The title track, which samples "Can You Be True?" from the underrated "North" to great effect is also one of the very best things on offer here and my last pick of the album is "If I Could Believe", a beautiful hymn-like composition featuring a fragile, but passionate, Elvis vocal, which is perhaps the only track on here that sounds like a conventional Costello cut, so much so that it almost feels like it's a little out of place on this album.

I can't quite explain why "Wise Up Ghost" doesn't appeal to me as much as it possibly should. It's a pleasurable record to listen to, I enjoy the creativity of the rhythms and arrangements and I certainly appreciate the fact that Elvis has done something this different, but it doesn't really connect with me on an emotional level, the way his music normally does. There is a general lack of melody on "Wise Up Ghost" too and, as Costello is generally a master of a beguiling, intricate melody, the whole album feels slightly one-dimensional without many memorable melody lines in attendance here. Also, although there aren't many direct lifts from Elvis' formidable catalogue of songs, using lyrics that he has penned previously and adapting them takes away a little bit of originality and, if anything, makes me want to hear the originals rather than getting fully into these new tracks. By the standards of the majority of today's music, this is a really good album. By the high standards that Elvis himself has set over the years, it doesn't quite hit the mark... but, either way, it's an interesting, enjoyable album which is well worth investigating and may introduce Elvis to an entirely new market, which can't be a bad thing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collaboration between two masters of their own game. Don't come here with any preconceptions, 8 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
Great collaboration between two masters of their own game. Don't come here with any preconceptions. There are some real quality musical moments here
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best disc from Elvis Costello in some time, 17 Sept. 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
This is a great EC disc, which may well attract new listeners to his music and will be welcomed by those of us who already have been convinced. This albumn just has more that grabs you and no sense of there being either filler or overly complicated songs that have been smattered through some of his more recent offerings. This has immediacy, good strong tunes, great singing, and lyrically is direct and highly attractive. It is varied and really commands your attention from start to finish. oone of the best discs of this year that I have heard.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Saw This Coming?, 16 Sept. 2013
By 
robotfish "robotfish" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
I listened to this streamed on the website of one of our national broadsheet newspapers. It is an intriguing album. Elvis has a history of collaborations (Brodsky Quartet, Burt Bacharach, Allen Toussaint etc) but I can't say I saw this one coming after a recent resurgence of form (National Ransom and Momofoku are both excellent).

However I liked what I heard. Some new music alongside snippets of old (I hear Pills & Soap, Satellite, Invasion Hit Parade, Chewing Gum & Pulling Out The Pin amongst others). Some lyrics are pulled wholesale e.g. Pills & Soap & IHP, whereas some songs are built around riffs. For instance Tripwire, which sounds like Satellite played through a musical box.

Nerdy old-song explorations aside the album sounds pretty exciting. The Roots bring a taut sparse sound that recalls the early work of the Attractions to some degree. I will admit, though, that I felt my interest wane towards the end. Even so, I am sure I will play this on repeat for weeks, but am not so sure its a top-tier Costello release.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wised up Elvis, 2 Jan. 2014
By 
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I'm not a huge fan of Elvis Costello's recent output, but this is massively brilliant. One of my albums of the year. The pairing of EC's vocals and lyrics with a laidback hiphop groove is a winner.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Superb album - excellent collaboration., 14 July 2014
By 
A. S. Patel - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Superb album - excellent collaboration. I'm a big fan of the The Roots and so bought this off the back of that, and wasn't surprised at how great an album this. The Roots and Elvis Costello have produced a classic here.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars My Favourite Album of 2013, 3 Feb. 2014
By 
G. Claffey "the eminent" (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
I am delighted that Elvis Costello can still surprise and enlighten me after all these years. Sometime he experiments and it does not succeed. Here he triumphs. A great deal of the album is courageous and funky re-workings of melodies from his neglected classic "North" album. It should not work. It does. His lyrical talent has lost nothing over the decades. Brave words that I am happy to carry as a commentary on the world as we find it. "If I could believe" could speak for me even in the sadder months of a bereavement.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis Still The King, 31 Dec. 2013
By 
J. P. White "Rocklist.net" (Woking) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
All the fuss about The Arctic Monkeys using Hip-Hop as a springboard for their new album, Elvis went the whole way and used Hip-Hop backing band The Roots with superb results. Fused with his sharp intelligent lyrics, this album once again shows what a totally undervalued artist Elvis is. The companion album (Volume Two - Remixes) is also worth checking out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars CD Review, 19 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
Funky, Wife loved it. Recommended as a Christmas gift. Supplier of CD and after sales support very good, Thanks! K
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great reworking of old and new as well, 8 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wise Up Ghost (Audio CD)
Wasn't sure what to expect from this but was happily surprised by the quality of the music on here. Some new songs and some old lyrics from songs like Pills And Soap given new life over a tight and vibrant backing track from the Roots. His best album since Momofuku.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Wise Up Ghost [VINYL]
Wise Up Ghost [VINYL] by Elvis Costello (Vinyl - 2013)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews