You've Been Asleep for a Hundred Seconds

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

There's Nothing Left Over

I've been really down on my former hero Elvis Costello for the past few years. His last few albums have really left me cold, but lately I've been listening to his albums and I don't think anyone's catalog can compare to Elvis's output from 1977 to 1986. After that none of his albums are truly great. There are some good songs here and there and some pretty solid albums but nothing on par with the golden years.

There is one exception; 1998's classic collaboration with Burt Bacharach Painted From Memory. Twelve perfect songs that are not like anything Burt or Elvis had done before. Even songs that initially didn't grab me now are now classics. Take for example the song The Long Division. I love the semi-cheesy yet slinky Steely Dan vibe of the music. And when you combine that with the near perfect lyrics you have one of the best songs about infidelity ever. I mean my god! I think I have listened to that song 20 times already today!

Listening to this album makes me glad Elvis is still around and maybe a return to greatness is just around the corner and not just more mistakes like North and inherently bad ideas like Il Sogno.


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