Lincoln Journal Star, June 5, 2009

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Lincoln Journal Star

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Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

Elvis Costello

L. Kent Wolgamott

Elvis Costello goes country again and teams up with producer T-Bone Burnett again on this ballad-heavy set of tunes. It includes a couple of Costello oldies, a cover of the old waltz "Changing Partners" and a handful of tunes originally written for an opera about Hans Christian Andersen (really).

Those songs share a basic lament that pervades the record, which is oh-so-tastefully played by a lineup of bluegrass luminaries that will tour with Costello this year. Costello's really become an effective crooner, and he gets good harmony support from Jim Lauderdale across the record and Emmylou Harris on "The Crooked Line."

There are some excellent songs here, most notably "I Felt the Chill," co-written with Loretta Lynn. But "Hidden Shame" is the only true uptempo tune, and the old-timey New Orleans-inflected title cut is the only song that shows off Costello's sense of humor. So the album is a rather sedate affair. But it's very well done — an "American museum," to cop one of his lyrics.

Grade: B

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Lincoln Journal Star, November 8, 2010


L. Kent Wolgamott reviews Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

Images

Secret Profane & Sugarcane album cover.jpg


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