What a disaster. Costello has abandoned his pop audience, traded in his birthright for a stew of classical music cliches, and degraded his voice so that he sounds like some tired '50s crooner with adenoid problems. "Elvis" has not only left the building, he's shot everyone in the head and stolen our cars.
It's hard to believe this is even the same man who taught us to pogo on "Pump It Up" or slew us with irony everytime he opened his mouth. The best lyrics in the last 15 years were all written by Costello before he found some macabre virtue in alienating even his hardcore fanbase.
Despite The Juliet Letters high-mindedness and uncompromising symphonic ambitions, it is ultimately lush, nonsensical and thoroughly boring. This is Costello's Waterloo, an artistic miscalculation so grave that it even dwarfs Bob Dylan's Self Portrait, which until now was the worst record by a serious artist in the last 30 years. Let's face it, Elvis is dead. Now we have to find another one.