Elvis Costello, Brit with an Irish background, was the late seventies one of the leaders of the punk rock and new wave. Not the kind of Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols), Costello was a gifted songwriter who was known for his sharp pen. World famous is his Tramp the Dirt Down from 1989, an indictment of the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. When England was the whore of the world Margaret was the whore madam, fulminated Costello.
Costello is far from disappeared from the scene. For Wise Up Ghost he withdrew with hip-hop band The Roots. Along with Questlove, drummer and musical mastermind of the band, he composed almost all the songs on the album. The result is a wonderful and original sound.
"Music that sounds different than anything the two parties have so far made," writes reviewer Volkskrant Gijsbert Room (****). ' Costello sounds more inspired than the last, say, fifteen years. The lyrics are vicious and the music is funky, soulful, sometimes beautiful melancholic melodies. The black musicians around him do Costello, who since his early years much has flirted with (black) music, from reggae to soul, hear well."
SPIN provides an 8, a 9 Drowned in Sound: " Questlove and co. know to get the best . upwards Costello The combination of one of England's greatest writers and perhaps the most progressive band of America results in a crispy, funky and even dangerous sounding album. Politics and relevant."
On the cover of Wise Up Ghost is clearly 'Number One', so it seems to wait for a Number Two.