Album: Elvis Costello, National Ransom (Hear Music)

From Plant to John to Costello – what is it about singers of a certain age that makes them turn to T Bone Burnett (who, if he spreads himself any thinner, will have to change his name to Minute Steak)?

This is Costello in King of America mode: assorted players of calibre (Marc Ribot, Buddy Miller etc), 11 days in the studio and, presto, an album. It's a mixed bag, with nothing to trouble the anthologists and nothing to curl the toes. It proves that for all the genre-hopping, Costello's best is filed under unclassifiable.