Fender signature artist Elvis Costello released his new T-Bone Burnett produced album, National Ransom, on Tuesday. Cut in Nashville in 11 days, the album features backing bands, the Imposters and the Sugarcanes, as well as noteworthy guests Vince Gill, Buddy Miller, Marc Ribot and Leon Russell.
It “juxtaposes time and place,” Costello says of his latest effort. “It includes old ballads, gospel, rhythm & blues, rock and roll and some country elements. I don’t know what kind of music it is.”
The lyrical matter is equally diverse. Its title track references the financial industry collapse and bail out while “One Bell Rings” was inspired by the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes at a London tube station. It’s a total package that is earning high praise.
“As a singer, songwriter and observer of human foibles, Elvis Costello is little short of dazzling on his latest outing,” notes the LA Times. “It certifies him as both the modern-day Cole Porter for the effortless way he marries sophisticated lyrics with elegant music, and contemporary counterpart to Brecht-Weill for his unrelenting skill at creating and inhabiting unforgettable characters and their dark situations.”
Or as simply stated by the Globe and Mail, “National Ransom, a mind-grabbing 60-minute experience.”
Check it out at elviscostello.com.