Thursday, July 10, 2008


There are two important reactions to a new CD.

First, there's the knee-jerk reaction. This is usually the one you hear in reviews. Few people have enough time to listen to a CD several times before they have to review it so that the review is as new as the CD.

Second, there's the long-term reaction.

Elvis's latest CD, "Momofuku," was released in early May. There was little advance notice that an album was coming. It was an impulse album -- he got the idea, and the album was recorded fairly quickly, and it went to the stores with little fanfare. According to Billboard, Elvis has said of Momofuku, "
The absence of much advance notice or information might seem a little strange and perverse but the record was made so quickly that I didn't even tell myself about it for a couple weeks." Even now it's hard to find a lot of press about this album.

But here's my own personal test:

It's been on my iPod for just over two months. When I'm listening to the iPod on "Shuffle" and a song from Momofuku comes up, I don't skip it. Never. Haven't skipped one yet.

That being said, let's see if I can say something a little more thoughtful and incisive.

I like the way it sounds. It sounds more like early Elvis than recent Elvis (I'm not knocking recent Elvis, just saying this sounds like it belongs alongside "This Year's Model" or "Armed Forces" or "Trust").

I like the energy. That's more a melding of early Elvis and recent Elvis.

John Metzger's review at MusicBox-Online put it well: "
While all of its songs were smartly conceived, the speed at which Momofuku was recorded left Costello with little time to contemplate the arrangements and make them overly complex. It has been years since he has made an album that sounds this urgent."

So if you're a fan of Elvis, you probably already have this CD, so any recommendation from me is pointless.

But if you like Elvis and don't have it yet, I would say it's well worth your while.

My knee-jerk reaction to this album was not cold, but I didn't think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread either.

My longer-term reaction has been, "Wow, this is really pretty damn cool."

For further information, check Elvis Costello's official website and his label's website.

1 comment:

joe said...

I have loved me some Elvis for a long time, but I've been veering away from anything "rock" oriented in favor of world music for several years. I think I need to pick this up -- I'm so out of it that I don't even know what's out anymore (then again, the music they play on KCRW usually keeps me somewhat in the know). Thanks for the tip.