Album: Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Momofuku (Lost Highway)

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The Independent Culture

Recorded as an offshoot of sessions for a Rilo Kiley album, Momofuku has an impromptu quality lacking in Elvis Costello's more considered recent work. Rattling from style to style as Costello aims at one target after another, there's a brusque impatience about the album, which in some cases transfers to the listener: frankly, it's hard to raise two hoots of interest in songs like the McCartneyesque trifle "Mr Feathers", the schematic "Stella Hurt" or the melodrama "Go Away".

Elsewhere, he sounds as bitterly animated as ever: lines like "I'm a limited, primitive kind of man" and "Whatever I said about you, I didn't say it behind your back" could have come from his early albums, and the emotional autopsies of "Harry Worth" and "Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve" are as unflinching as any in his canon. Railing respectively against internet nastiness and the way the American flag is used as a gag, "No Hiding Place" and "American Gangster Time" are the money tracks, though the most neatly turned and moving is "Song With Rose".

Pick of the album:'Song With Rose', 'No Hiding Place', 'American Gangster Time', 'Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve'