Elvis Costello and the Imposters

Momofuku | Lost Highway
By ZETH LUNDY  |  May 12, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
05/16/2008_Costello_insideElvis Costello’s transition from angry young man to grumpy old man was nearly complete late last year when, in reaction to the piecemeal experience of the digital age, he entertained the notion of never ever recording another album. Then he decided that he would record another album, but that it would be released on vinyl only. Such extremism is quaint but impractical, and so Momofuku — recorded off-the-cuff during one week in LA with the Imposters and Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, and pedal-steel player “Farmer” Dave Scher on backing vocals — is now available in all formats. That’s just as well, because its lasting gimmick is its rock-and-roll spontaneity, not its method of delivery. Sure, Costello’s flubbed lines are left intact and the album’s mixes can be wildly uneven, but missed perfections make for a pretty riveting whole. The simplest songs (“Go Away,” “Drum & Bone”) fare best in the unstructured environment; pastiches of bossa nova (“Harry Worth”) and cabaret (“Mr. Feathers”) offset the barrage of roots-tinged rock. As far as raw rock goes, Costello splits the difference: “American Gangster Time” suffers from an absence of melody but “Stella Hurt” wraps its hook in a wicked bootstomp riff. “I’m a limited primitive kind of man,” Costello sings in “Drum & Bone,” and for better and worse, that’s the truth.
Related: Elvis Costello | Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, Buzz not loud enough for Burnett's spectacular 'Speaking Clock Revue', Review: Elvis Costello | National Ransom, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Rilo Kiley, Elvis Costello, Elvis Costello,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   BROWN BIRD | FITS OF REASON  |  March 18, 2013
    Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
  •   NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS | PUSH THE SKY AWAY  |  February 20, 2013
    Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
  •   SCOTT WALKER | BISH BOSCH  |  November 27, 2012
    Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
    Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
  •   R.E.M. | DOCUMENT [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]  |  September 19, 2012
    Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.

 See all articles by: ZETH LUNDY