A.V. Club, October 30, 2020

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A-Sides

5 new releases we love: Elvis Costello gets eclectic..


Gwen Ihnat

Elvis Costello, Hey Clockface
[Concord Records, October 30]

While some of our rock legends are returning to form (like Springsteen’s Letter To You), others, like Elvis Costello, are taking more of a “give no fucks” attitude: His latest release Hey Clockface is eclectic, to put it mildly. Costello recorded some tracks solo in a studio in Helsinki, like the anarchist rage of “No Flag” and the pointed, remorseful ballad “We Are All Cowards Now.” He then travelled to Paris to record with an ensemble to record the rest, making songs like “I Do (Zula’s Song)” and “The Whirlwind,” which sound like they could fit right in on a Sinatra record, evoking a smoky, deserted after-hours blues bar with Costello’s heartfelt vocals front and center. The cheery title track, by contrast, goes the opposite tonal route, right into spirited New Orleans jazz. While the off-kilter spoken-word cuts like “Revolution #49” or experimental multitracks of “Hetty O’Hara Confidential” may not be for everyone, there’s a lot of joy to be discerned from this record, as it documents a longtime artist who’s managed to find unlikely and disparate inspiration in troubled times.


Tags: Hey ClockfaceConcord RecordsBruce SpringsteenNo FlagWe Are All Cowards NowHelsinkiParisLe Quintette Saint GermainI Do (Zula's Song)The WhirlwindFrank SinatraHey Clockface / How Can You Face Me?Revolution #49Hetty O'Hara Confidential

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The A.V. Club, October 30, 2020


Gwen Ihnat reviews Hey Clockface.

Images

2020-03-00 Buzz Magazine photo 01 rdp.jpg
Photo credit: Ray Di Pietro

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