Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, September 24, 2004

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Elvis Costello's Oxford recording gets high marks

Elvis Costello & The Imposters / The Delivery Man

Martin Bandyke


Mixing soul, country and rock 'n' roll with a fragmented, elliptical narrative about a man named Abel (aka "The Delivery Man") and the effect he has on the lives of three women, Costello has fashioned a raw-boned, emotional affair with the help of his superb band and a few extra-special guests.

Earlier this year, Costello and his band worked with producer Dennis Herring, a Tupelo native, to record the album at Sweet Tea Recording in Oxford.

Longtime sidemen Steve Nieve (keyboards) and Pete Thomas (drums) and more recent recruit Davey Faragher (bass) pummel their way through the noisy album opener "Button My Lip," then just as easily ease up on the weepy ballads "Country Darkness" and "Either Side of the Same Town."

Lucinda Williams has the role of bad girl divorcee Vivien on "There's a Story In Your Voice," while Emmylou Harris portrays Vivien's best friend Geraldine, a pious war widow, on "Heart Shaped Bruise."

Costello deliberately left out huge chunks of narrative in order to let the songs stand on their own and to avoid the dreaded "concept album" tag. The ferocious rocker "Bedlam" and New Orleans-flavored "Monkey To Man" don't advance any story lines, but who cares – they're simply fantastic.


Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, September 24, 2004

Martin Bandyke reviews The Delivery Man.


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