“I sang every note of the new record after I got the diagnosis,” Elvis Costello confided recently. Last July, he cancelled a handful of dates after he toured too soon after surgery to remove a small tumour. Unsurprisingly, at its best, Look Now – Costello’s 31st album – comes freighted with vivid feeling as well as sophisticated instrumentation and arrangements.
Stripping Paper is a tremendous vignette that peels back the layers of a relationship, from the first flushes of a liaison (“my back against the rococo wall”) through the kiddy wallpaper to latter-day blankness. The excellent single Unwanted Number, meanwhile, details a fraught process of romantic mismatching with Motown-style backing vocals. In 2017, Costello toured his Imperial Bedroom album of 1982; Look Now bears some resemblance to that first chamber-pop outing, in which relationships loomed large.Continue reading...
Sun Oct 14 09:00:16 CEST 2018