Texarkana, TX 57° View Live Radar Fri H 55° L 41° Sat H 57° L 38° Sun H 61° L 40° Weather Sponsored By:

Music Reviews: Elvis Costello & The Imposters

Music Reviews: Elvis Costello & The Imposters

October 11th, 2018 by Associated Press in Features
This cover image released by Concord Records shows "Look Now," a release by Elvis Costello & The Imposters. (Concord Records via AP)

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, "Look Now" (Concord Records)


Like in "Anna Karenina," the characters in "Look Now," Elvis Costello's sumptuous new album with The Imposters, are each unhappy in their own way.

A woman who laments her deteriorated marriage while doing some renovations around the house ("Stripping Paper"); a dilapidated music-hall singer whose return to showbiz may be brief ("Under Lime"); a daughter pondering her dad's infidelity ("Photographs Can Lie"); someone grieving the end of the British empire ("I Let the Sun Go Down") and so on.

What make it easy to be sympathetic with even the most pitiable of those in these very human songs are Costello's elegant melodies and arrangements, which result in a kind of silkier, even more debonair version of "Imperial Bedroom," his 1982 album produced by recently departed Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick.

Costello's guitars are mostly in a supporting role. Horns, woodwinds and strings—as well as some of the liveliest backing vocals on an EC album since Afrodiziak lit up "Punch the Clock"—plus the deft hands of The Imposters and Argentine-born co-producer Sebastian Krys, turn "Look Now" into one of his most sonically gratifying records.

Burt Bacharach composed some of the music and Costello also dusted off "Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter," another tale of domestic gloom, written years ago with Carole King. But there are several others, including "Why Won't Heaven Help Me" and "Stripping Paper," which show how deeply those 1960s sounds, from pop to soul, influenced Costello and how expertly he applies them in his own superlative songwriting, which "Look Now" has plenty of.

Costello said he recorded the lead vocals as he was recovering from a cancer scare and it made him feel invigorated instead of depressed. The power of his voice here, including that characteristic long-wave vibrato, confirms his mood.

Those in Costello's songs may be mostly miserable, but "Look Now" will make its listeners very happy indeed.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com