Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Can I begin by saying how very inspiring it is for the Vinyl Princess to see artists releasing their albums on Vinyl again (happy sigh). While the rest of the world goes off in alarming directions, it appears that the music world is coming back around to Vinyl and what could be better than that? Elvis Costello's new album is a work of art. The artwork on the cover looks like vintage tarot cards with my favorite bird, a crow, right there in the middle. The pen and ink of Elvis on the back is just what I want to think of when I see him in my mind. This is a double gatefold album and the lyrics are wordy so it takes a minute to get through them all but do it, they're brilliant. On to the music: Produced by T-Bone Burnett, who rarely disappoints, a mandolin figures heavily on many songs and the gracious Jim Lauderdale sings harmonies. The songs themselves are like clever short stories with a beginning, a middle, an end, a good plot and even a few sub-plots. I was on board right out of the gate with Down Among the Wines and Spirits and Complicated Shadows, of course. Sulphur to Sugarcane is my fave on the record and loads of fun and She Was No Good is a pretty song that required several listens before I figured out what he was talking about. Listening to this album is like losing yourself in a great book. Mine, by the way, is signed by the man himself. Yup, I looked him right in the eye. I may even have touched him.