Elvis Costello has been down this path before, even if this one offers a style like nothing he's ever released.
He hasn't been the Angry Young Man of rock since 1982, really, and after a period of not knowing which hat of maturity to wear, he decided to don them all. So he records with the Brodsky Quartet and only half-succeeds. So he duets with Bill Frisell (this new album's most obvious precursor) and makes "Gigi" sound ethereal and atmospheric. So he reunites with the Attractions to make a very adult pop record that's better than anyone had a right to expect.
So now he's done 12 songs with the King of Cool. And perhaps not surprisingly, it's one of the best albums he's ever made — a wrenching, heartbreaking song cycle that introduces our lovesick hero doubting himself "In the Darkest Place," falling out with his girl (again and again and again) and discovering that "This House is Empty Now."