Anybody still holding their breath for a return of the "old" Elvis might as well check themselves into a brain aneurism clinic right now. Peerless three minute pop? Been done, mate. Classical music is where it's at nowadays. And concept albums. Didn't you know?
Haying dragged his loyal following through periods of R&B, skiffle and major label super-sessionery, Costello now sticks his flag in the reeking corpse of the classics. The Juliet Letters contains 20 tracks with nary a bass drum beat between them. The effect is initially startling, then merely curious and ultimately very dull. Tracks like "Deliver Us" or "Sad Burlesque" show that Costello has lost none of his lyrical savagery but by the end even the most slavish of fans will be longing for a Steve Nieve organ solo instead of another damned violin trill. Monster it ain't.