It is always interesting to take a listen when an artist puts out an album that is described as having a sound that reinvents said musician. The results can be good or bad, but they are rarely boring. Elvis Costello has reinvented himself so many times over the years, that it really is pointless to try and peg the guy to a single sound.
On Momofuku it seems that Costello has done it again, popping into the studio with the likes of Jonathan Rice, David Hildalgo and Jenny Lewis. The crew emerged just a few days later with a completed album.
The results are even more surprising than the brevity of the recording session. While Costello has put out some truly interesting music in the last 20 years (Spike, The Juliet Letters, Painted From Memory), this is the first release that recaptures the excitement of hearing Costello's 1977 debut, My Aim Is True. One listen to tracks such as "No Hiding Place," "Harry Worth" and "Stella Hurt," and the wickedly good memories of Costello and his Attractions will come flooding back.
The best song by far is "American Gangster Time," which sounds like it has been sitting in a time capsule for the last 30 years, just waiting for the right moment.
Ladies and gentlemen, that moment is now. Not every single track works flawlessly, but there is an amazing amount of good music here.
If Costello's classic sound makes you smile, then most of what is on Momofuku will give you perma-grin.