Page 1 of 1

November CD Round-up on the Arts Desk

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:45 pm
by howard male
Another diverse bunch of CD reviews over at The Arts Desk:

http://www.theartsdesk.com/index.php?op ... &Itemid=29

Re: November CD Round-up on the Arts Desk

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:48 pm
by Paul Inglis
Despite Howard's tepid review, I must say that Costello's new album absolutely slays me. Still, I know that at this stage of the game there's no absolutely point trying to convince people to like Costello. You either get him or you don't.

Re: November CD Round-up on the Arts Desk

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:41 am
by howard male
I do get him, Paul - as I went to some lengths to try to say. I just don’t think 'National Ransom' works as a cohesive piece of work. It’s a forty-five-minute good album with three or four additional tracks that belong on another album altogether. My favourite Costello albums are ‘Armed Forces’ and ‘This Year’s Model’ –they don’t outstay their welcome and they have a definite, distinctive overall feel.

Are you around, Con? As someone else whose generally been on Costello's side I'd be curious to hear what you make of this one.

Re: November CD Round-up on the Arts Desk

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:00 pm
by Paul Inglis
howard male wrote:I do get him, Paul - as I went to some lengths to try to say. I just don’t think 'National Ransom' works as a cohesive piece of work. It’s a forty-five-minute good album with three or four additional tracks that belong on another album altogether. My favourite Costello albums are ‘Armed Forces’ and ‘This Year’s Model’ –they don’t outstay their welcome and they have a definite, distinctive overall feel.


Thanks for responding, Howard. I guess my "don't get him" remark wasn't just aimed at you, but at people in general.

My favourite Costello albums include "Get Happy", "Imperial Bedroom", "Trust" and "King of America", all of which got mixed reviews at the time. Now they tend to be regarded as classics by his fanbase. I think "National Ransom" will be another one of these. He's really got his voice back, and he's a much better lyricist now than he was thirty years when he was just taking potshots at Swinging London ("(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea") or the rock'n'roll lifestyle ("Pump it Up"). In fact, both those songs are just rants in the form of lists - if he wrote lyrics like that now people would think he was cracked!

Re: November CD Round-up on the Arts Desk

PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:17 am
by howard male
I completely agree about his voice, Paul. He even seems to have developed a new vocal technique which shows off a whole new timbre in those softer ballads. But as I said in my review - lyrically I think a lot of the time he just over does it, throwing everything including the kitchen sink into a song thus creating a dense mesh of words which in the end results in a wilfully obscure, overburdened song. I'd love him to do another 'Get Happy' in which he just demonstrates his talent for uncomplicated but intelligent pop.