The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Album: Elvis Costello & the Imposters, Momofuku, (Mercury)

Just add hot water and stir...

Simmy Richman
Sunday 04 May 2008 00:00

Let's get the trivia out of the way first: Momofuku Ando is the recently deceased inventor of the cup noodle. In naming this record after him, Costello wants us to know that the album was made in a week, and that it is an easy, breezy, instant and, perhaps, disposable affair.

He does himself a disservice. Because what 'Momofuku' demonstrates is that Costello is happiest when he is creating literate and snappy pop with added MSG (mostly spontaneous glee). Made with the aid of a cool-kid bunch of Californians (Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley, her beau Johnathan Rice, drummer Pete Thomas's daughter Tennessee), 'Momofuku' is the sound of Costello in satisfied (rather than self-satisfied) mode.

It is a cavalcade of clever songs that recall any classic Costello you care to mention. It is also an intensely personal and honest record. ("It's not very far/From tears to mirth/There are not many moments/That will capture your breath" he advises a newlywed on "Harry Worth".) After all those starchy collaborations with the Bacharachs, Brodskys and von Otters, the Costello we knew and loved is finally reborn by the simple act of making music for fun rather than favour. There's a moral in that for all of us.

Click here to listen to clips and to buy this album

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in