He's rock's renaissance man. Since first making his mark in the late 1970s as new wave's wittiest performer, Elvis Costello has moved in several musical directions, successfully tackling country, jazz and classical music. And he has taken on myriad other creative roles, producing albums for various artists, collaborating with legendary songwriters like Burt Bacharach and Paul McCartney, acting in films and even guest hosting on Late Show With David Letterman.
Once described as a "pop encyclopedia," Elvis has written articles for Vanity Fair and recently landed a book deal. He's now shooting Spectacle: Elvis Costello With..., a TV series produced with Elton John's Rocket Pictures that will air on CTV this fall. And next month, the father of three boys — including twins with his wife, Canadian jazz star Diana Krall — goes on tour with the Police. Is it any wonder that his latest album was recorded over just a few days in February and released just this week?
Happily, it does not sound rushed. Oddly named after Momofuku Ando (the inventor of instant and cup noodles), the album features bittersweet country ("Song With Rose"), emotionally rich ballads ("Flutter and Wow") and energetic pop songs like "No Hiding Place." Elvis calls himself a "proud father" on the sentimental "My Three Sons" and even sings from the perspective of a cuckolded wife on the brilliant "Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve," co-written with Loretta Lynn. Another stellar achievement for rock's jack-of-all-trades.