This time he`s in smoky balladeer mode.
The days when Elvis Costello albums marked the bench for contemporary British pop are receding from memory. Now devoted to boutique "projects", the 48-year-old seems content to flutter between genres, his songwriting muse distinctly muted. Which is not to
say North, 11 discreetly arranged and tremulously sung piano ballads, is anything but accomplished.
Fans of Costello`s Burt Bacharach collaborations will revel in the elegant melodic gearshifts of "You Turned To Me," while champions of his classical dalliances will welcome the return of the Brodsky Quartet on the poignant "Still." All very creditable though, for a man who once oozed vitriol, a tad bloodless.