At 64, there is little that Elvis Costello doesn’t know about the well-made pop song. His 33rd album is full of rueful, tasteful, carefully crafted Sixties-inflected heartbreakers that remind you what a technically accomplished songwriter he is. And also how technical accomplishment isn’t everything — oh, for some of the jagged gawkiness of his new-wave youth.
I Let the Sun Go Down is a lament for Brexitland from his American exile; Under Lime is an arch morality tale about an old star making a comeback.
The arrangements are gorgeous, some of the chorus hooks less so, and overall the laid-back Broadway-meets-Abbey Road vibe suits his adroit observations well.