From punk to country to jazz to wherever he wants to go, Elvis Costello has had a career that defies classification. He has worked with an eclectic cast of musicians and managed to blend his sound with theirs to create something unique. This chameleon quality is well served in his latest collaboration with The Roots.
This is not Elvis does hip hop but much deeper as he brings out the funk and the beats that hip hop grew out of then draws them into a new direction for himself.
Wise Up Ghost is 12 songs of funk-infused brilliance, (the deluxe version has three extra bonus tracks that were recorded after the initial sessions). There is a surprise that comes from this unlikely pairing that makes each song just that much more special. When the opening organ of the first track, "Walk Us Uptown," is met with Costello's snarl you know this is going to be something different.
Both the band and Costello keep themselves reined in but beneath the music pulses with a raw energy. With repeated listening the beat gets funkier and the vocals get more soulful and the whole album gets better.