7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Open Minded, Open Mouthed,
By A Customer
This review is from: North (Audio CD)
At the start of this CD Elvis has been left in the dark, by the end he's in the mood again. And this journey the singer takes from darkness to light, despair to joy, the listener takes too. You're confused and uncertain at first, maybe disappointed, at the latest surprising turn of a corkscrew career, but ultimately entranced and delighted.
Much has been made of the bemused Costello fan - expecting punk and getting country, looking for electric guitars and finding string quartets. Attractions become Imposters. And any fan confused by this journey will be none the wiser for heading North, but maybe all the richer. The CD is full of surprises: yes, that's Elvis at the piano, yes, these are quiet, low key melodies. But more than that, Elvis is in love. After years of spittle-spattered anger, this is a CD of gentle tenderness, though still with a truth that hits you right between the eyes.
All these songs are complex melodies, shades of Brodsky's (who make an appearance on one track), shades of Bacharach, even hints of Berlin and Gershwin. Steve Nieve is almost ever-present but there are no multi-octave fireworks, no Abba-esque contortions. Just a quiet backdrop, the lightest touch. If this list of references is enough to turn you off, I understand, but I recommend you buy this CD anyway - after a few listens the beauty of the melodies takes hold of even the most narrow-minded of rockers, and won't let go. When It Sings and Still immediately stand out, perhaps more accessible than the rest, but every track grows on you at different speeds and no doubt the rest will follow. Can You Be True? Elvis asks of his lover towards the end of the CD. Before now, we've always suspected the answer was No, now we know it's Yes.
Elvis' army have often felt short-changed by these disparate episodes of song, but the truth is we've had more than we bargained for. Since when was that a bad thing?