Arlington Heights Daily Herald, October 10, 2003

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North

Elvis Costello

Rich Harris / Associated Press

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Never shy about experimentation, Elvis Costello applies his lyric scalpel and considerable voice talent exclusively to the ballad on his new album, North. Eleven tracks, all written by Costello, chart a course from wounded to recovered. This is material that dances on the edge of maudlin without falling. The fifth song, "Fallen," carries off a perilous autumn-leaves metaphor on the strength of Costello's baritone and simple piano chords with a touch of strings. Even casual fans — who may have skipped his collaborations with the Brodsky Quartet or Burt Bacharach — have seen glimmers of this side of Costello in songs such as "Alison" or "Shipbuilding." But the tendency here is more contemplative — a shade slower and more lush. Not quite so angry (though still unforgiving of his own foibles). Perhaps sadder, but wiser, too. And we are all the richer for that.

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The Daily Herald, October 10, 2003


Rich Harris reviews North.

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2003-10-10 Arlington Heights Daily Herald page.jpg
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