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Review of The Delivery Man
RTE Guide, 2004-10-15
Alan Corr


Lost Highway
(4 stars)

Much has been made of Elvis Costello’s habit of chasing his muse down all kinds of musical side streets. From archly smart new wave to country, to classical, to his sumptuous collaboration with Burt Bacharach, he’s built a substantial body of varied work, in the process infuriating people who want him to remain in a postpunk rut. Maybe they’re reluctant to accept that he’s just a talented guy. The Delivery Man doesn’t disappoint on that score as he reassembles the Imposters — essentially The Attractions without Bruce Thomas — and rediscovers the sandpapered howl of 86’s Blood and Chocolate and the outstanding songwriting of King of America. Second only to Costello’s lyrical barbs is keyboardist Steve Nieve. He plays like he used to on the classic Costello albums of the late 70s and the terrific Bedlam belongs to him as he freaks out on a theremin and a Wurlitzer. A ragged Lucinda Williams is great on the dirty country jam of There’s a Story in Your Voice and Emmylou Harris appears on three country laments.
Alan Corr