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Elvis Costello's NORTH hybrid SACD, boring!


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13 replies to this topic

#1 of 14 Rachael B

Rachael B

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Posted December 10 2003 - 05:19 AM

Posted Image The album sounds like one long, dull song. It's fine with me that he doesn't want to be a rocker anymore. It is time for him to morph into a jazz artist. I loved the album he made with Burt Bacharach (Painted From Memory) last time out. So, my expectations were that NORTH would be a decent album, not!

First, there is no guitar, his best instrument, period. He plunks on the piano on some tracks (Steve Nieve plays piano on other tracks). He has a dim future as a pianist IMO! You're allowed to use quitar in jazz, I'm like so sure that's legal!Posted Image You're allowed to have upbeat pieces too and there's not much of that here. The drums, when used, mostly have that brush sound. Strings are often employed. He has a flock of horns at his dispose. He simply chooses to use these insuments to create a dull, somber mood.

Some of the songs have intresting lyrics but they seemed wasted in this melancholy sounding affair. He stille sings very well, but that's wasted too. From the sound of this album, you'd think he was as depressed as hell! Isn't he seeing the lovely Diana Krall? Is this how she makes him feel?

The album has a M/C track which I have not listened to and proably never will. In stereo it sounds fine on a technical level, anyway. I'm not into this dark, film noir sound on 10 straight songs myself. I like some music that evokes joy on my albums. I can't find it here. This sounds like music for the suicidal!Posted Image

If Elvis can't find a better sound as a jazz artist, I'm through with him. He had his peaks and valleys as a rock artist. That's normal. NORTH is the Death Valley sound as far as I'm concerned. Posted Image If you're holding a pistol to your head, contemplating the trigger, this would be a terrific last album to listen to! Posted Image For the rest of us it's a downer....Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#2 of 14 Charles Gurganus

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Posted December 10 2003 - 06:15 AM

Thanks Rachael. I had that disc in my hands and decided I'd better check some reviews first.

The way you describe the disc is about the way I feel about the Grant Lee Phillips SACD "Mobilize". He has a great voice with very good lyrics but he should get his band back. Those drum machines get OLD very quick.
Charles

#3 of 14 Al B. C

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Posted December 10 2003 - 06:25 AM

Amen Rachel.

I really like Elvis, hell I've even met the man, but this collection of songs sounds exactly as you describe - 1 long boring song.

I don't even think I heard anything that even resembles a hook in any of the songs. It almost sounds like the ramblings of a kid trying to sing some kind of made up song.

Posted Image

#4 of 14 Patrick Larkin

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Posted December 10 2003 - 06:26 AM

There is already a thread on this CD:
http://www.hometheat....hreadid=160348


Quote:
It's fine with me that he doesn't want to be a rocker anymore.


Did you miss When I was Cruel last year?


Quote:
Some of the songs have intresting lyrics but they seemed wasted in this melancholy sounding affair. He stille sings very well, but that's wasted too. From the sound of this album, you'd think he was as depressed as hell! Isn't he seeing the lovely Diana Krall? Is this how she makes him feel?


Quote:
This sounds like music for the suicidal!

Um, yeah, that was the point. Its a document of the breakup of his marriage with Cait O'Riordan.


North is what it is. If you don't like it, that's fine. But to paint Costello's career with this CD isn't fair. Anyone thats followed Elvis' career knows that he jump genres on just about every recording. Two albums ago he recorded with Sophie van Otter (opera) and of course there was the Brosdsky Quartet album. In between all of these "experimental" albums, he has issued more mainstream recordings.

#5 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted December 10 2003 - 08:11 AM

Patrick, I sort'a forgot about CRUEL and the album with Sophie while typing away. I liked them, OK. The Brosdsky album is one of a scant few Costello albums I have not heard. Elvis the prolific will proably be back with a cover album of Tiny Tim classics in a few months?!?Posted Image Posted Image I know or atleast hope he'll do better again.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#6 of 14 Phil A

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Posted December 10 2003 - 08:13 AM

I saw Elvis on Late Night with Conan a little bit ago and he did a song from 'North.' He indicated in the interview that this was a different thing for him and he next album will be louder.

#7 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted December 10 2003 - 08:17 AM

Charles, I like MOBILIZE despite the drum machine. I wrote a review of it on this forum about 2 years ago. My biggest critcism was the drumming, BTW. He does need a band to compliment his obvious talent! I'm glad fate or better judgement saved you from owning one of Costello's weakest albums...Posted Image

Al, we be da amen chorus! Rock on!Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#8 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted December 10 2003 - 08:20 AM

Phil, he doesn't have to do louder to please me, just less depressing!Posted Image
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#9 of 14 Zack Scott

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Posted December 11 2003 - 05:28 AM

It's funny when an artist wants to try something different people rag on him because he's not doing the same thing. I for one like the album it a breezy kind of love and relaxation album that doesn't sugar coat love. It's real love where the two people have a past and they try to climb out of it when they found each other. it's nice and refreshing. but to each his own. I can find a positive spin on Queen's Hot Space also (listen to the second side first)

#10 of 14 Al B. C

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Posted December 11 2003 - 05:40 AM

Quote:
It's funny when an artist wants to try something different people rag on him because he's not doing the same thing.


I'm not ragging on him or any other artist for trying something different.

Actually, I applaud them and give them a big Posted Image.

The fact of the matter remains that this album is not very good and is well below Elvis' ability and talents.

And god is it boring.

#11 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted December 11 2003 - 06:29 AM

Zack compare this album to PAINTED FROM MEMORY, IMO, PFM is much, muchas better.Posted Image I liked his kuntry album ALMOST BLUE years ago too. It's fine with me if he does somethin' different.
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!


#12 of 14 Doug Otte

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Posted December 12 2003 - 02:25 AM

Quote:
You're allowed to use quitar in jazz, I'm like so sure that's legal!


FYI, John Ashcroft & the Bushies are trying to make the guitar a legal instrument only in Tex-Mex music! Anyone else caught using it for any other purpose will be sent to Guantanamo, whether they're American or not.

Sorry for the lame political humor.
Doug

#13 of 14 Zack Scott

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Posted December 12 2003 - 09:03 AM

Painted From Memory is a compleatly different album because All of it was co written by Burt BAcaratt. "North" is written pretty much by himself. It doesn't have the over produced poppy sound that PFM has. But like I said in my previous post...To each his own. I just have heard worse stuff from EC. so that's why I responded so harshly to these comments.

#14 of 14 Rachael B

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Posted December 12 2003 - 01:22 PM

Zack, I wouldn't of called it harsh.Posted Image I've seldom made a negative review on this site. I fully expected some disaggreement, cool!
Rachael, the big disc cat is in real life Dot Mongur, Champion of the International Pacman Federation. You better be ready to rumble if you play Jr. Pacman with me. This is full contact Pacman and I don't just play the game, I operate it!



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