The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Pretty self-explanatory
sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:27 pm

https://www.insidehook.com/article/musi ... cord-years

Elvis Costello Tackles Adolescence With His Best Record in Years
"The Boy Named If" sees Costello and the Imposters in fine form

It’s been decades since Elvis Costello’s “angry young man” period. Since then, he’s cooled off and branched out, broadening his horizons with excellent forays into more adult-contemporary fare like Tin Pan Alley-inspired pop, piano jazz and even the occasional bluegrass record. But on his new album with the Imposters, The Boy Named If (out today), he sets his sights back on his youth, revisiting that transitional period of life he describes as “the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child — which for most men (and perhaps a few gals, too) can be any time in the next 50 years.”

Costello notes that the “If” moniker in the title is an abbreviation for “imaginary friend,” and a deluxe edition of the record comes with an 88-page hardcover book called The Boy Named If and Other Children’s Tales featuring short stories inspired by each of the album’s 13 tracks. But don’t get it twisted: this is not a children’s record. These are tales of adultery, violence and scheming, all told with the wisdom, nuance and clever wordplay we’ve come to expect from the man born Declan MacManus. The concept is a loose one — more like a subtle, common thread than any kind of heavy-handed narrative — and thankfully so, because it gives the music room to breathe.

Sonically, The Boy Named If is the closest Costello (and, of course, the Imposters — his classic Attractions lineup with bassist Bruce Thomas replaced by Davey Faragher) has sounded to his fiery late-’70s output in years. You’ll hear traces of This Year’s Model and Armed Forces all over it, but especially on opening track “Farewell, OK,” a sneering kiss-off elevated by Steve Nieve’s familiar organ riffs. “Magnificent Hurt” also sounds like it could have been recorded 40 years ago, in the best way possible; it’s the hardest Costello has rocked in quite some time.

But The Boy Named If isn’t one-note, and there are also ballads and other tracks that call to mind Costello’s more recent output and highlight his stellar lyricism. On the standout “My Most Beautiful Mistake,” which features some guest vocals from Nicole Atkins, he presents us with the story of a filmmaker in a diner trying to woo a “waitress with dreams of greatness.” “He wrote her name out in sugar on a Formica counter; ‘You could be the game that captures the hunter.’ Then he went out for cigarettes, as the soundtrack played The Marvelettes,” he sings. (The waitress, however, remains skeptical: “I’ve seen your kind before in courtroom sketches,” she tells him.)

“Trick Out the Truth” is a sufficiently spooky-sounding Halloween track that evokes the childhood nostalgia of costumes and candy but reminds us that real life has far more terrifying monsters. (Yes, this is a song that name-drops both Godzilla and Mussolini.) Ultimately, it winds up being about the kind of adult anxiety that puts ghosts and ghouls to shame: “What will they say when they haul you away?” Costello wonders. “Will anyone miss you, or kiss you, to say goodbye with a tear or a coin for your eye, when they finally trick out the truth?” The messiness of adulthood also haunts other tracks on the record, like the excellent “What If I Can’t Give You Anything But Love?” (about the end of an extramarital affair and full of casually devastating lines like “When this is over, I go back to my wife and the man that she lives with and that other life”) and “Paint The Red Rose Blue.” Costello describes the latter as “the account of someone who has long-courted theatrical darkness, only for its violence and cruelty to become all too real. In its wake, a bereft couple learn to love again, painting a melancholy blue over the red of romance.” It’s a killer (no pun intended) character study, full of gems that remind us why he’s celebrated as one of our greatest songwriters. “The words that came to him, both the lies and the threats/ They arrived all too easily, but they ran up some debts/From the thunder of a pulpit to the whispers of a lover/Till he found that he couldn’t tell one from another,” he croons.

Ultimately, Costello’s 32nd studio album isn’t so much about a coming-of-age as it is our inner child — not some long-lost sense of whimsy, but that uncontrollable id, all of the base instincts that we’re supposed get better at ignoring the older we get. It’s a record about lost souls and stunted growth and selfish adults who have probably been told to act their age on multiple occasions. In other words, it covers a lot of the same ground as some of his most beloved work. But miraculously, The Boy Named If doesn’t feel like a rehashing of the past or an artist resting on his laurels; it calls to mind old favorites, but it tweaks the formula just enough to keep it interesting, and it stands as proof that Costello can still fire off an essential listen nearly half a century into his career. If this is what this angry young man sounds like at age 67, one can only hope he keeps tapping that well for another few decades.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:30 pm

https://glidemagazine.com/268925/elvis- ... um-review/

ALBUM REVIEWS, REVIEWS
Elvis Costello Remains Assured & Diverse On ‘The Boy Named If’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

It’s hard to think of another musician as consistent as Elvis Costello. Given, that probably has more to do with his 45-year-old discography than it does the quality of each independent release, but regardless, he remains, unlike many musicians of his generation, an artist to watch. Only two other artists have been as prolific over that long of a period while still occasionally approaching the quality of their peak. Costello, like McCartney and Dylan has dependably released an album every couple of years and every decade or so, one or two of those albums is reliably a standout. The Boy Named If however, is not one of those standouts.

After 2013’s underrated collaboration with The Roots, Wise Up Ghost, Costello took five years (his longest gap so far) before releasing his next album, Look Now. That album was assured and meticulous, and one of Costello’s best efforts in years, but its follow-up 2020’s Hey Clockface was more of a mixed bag. Hey Clockface featured about four too many genre experiments that came off as overlong interludes and accentuated the duality of an album already recorded in two different studios.

The Boy Named If, has a lot in common with Hey Clockface, whether it be the four noticeably weaker tracks or the similarly bloated 52-minute runtime. That means that first and foremost, all four of those tracks could be removed and the album would work a whole lot better; and that Costello is still struggling with how to pick an album opener, in this case, “Mistook Me for a Friend” should have been the obvious choice. Unlike Hey Clockface though, those four weaker tracks fail because they try to capture the older, noisier Costello and instead come off as clunky and indistinct, especially when surrounded by better, more updated rockers.

What does work about The Boy Named If, like any other Costello album, is the songwriting. In this case, he has accompanied deluxe vinyl versions of the album with an 88-page book of short stories and prose, written and illustrated by Costello and based on or in some cases inspiring the songs on the album. It’s a nice appendix that shines some nuance on the album’s weaker moments, but it’s frustrating to see an album’s packaging come together more cohesively than the album itself. Still, when The Boy Named If hits, and it mostly does, it gives us a Costello Halloween song and yet another track about a waitress who looks like an actress, two things that are not easy to pull off. Costello is still an artist to watch.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:38 pm

https://www.hmv.com/music/elvis-costell ... y-named-if

HMV.COM TALKS TO... - January 14, 2022
"As the songs really started to take shape, they overtook each other or fell behind like horses in a race..." - hmv.com talks to Elvis Costello

Even for someone as prolific as Elvis Costello, the last few years have been exceptionally busy ones for the veteran songwriter. Since 2018, Costello has delivered two brand new full length albums - 2018's Look Now and 2020's Hey Clockface - as well as putting together a 'super deluxe' edition of his classic 1979 LP Armed Forces, which also arrived in 2020.

This week he returns once again with another new album, this time with his band The Imposters. Produced once again by Sebastian Krys, his latest creation The Boy Named If arrives in stores on Friday (Jannuary 14) and ahead of itsrelease we fired some questions over to the man himself about how the new album came together, and his plans for what comes next...

Where did the idea for the title and theme for this album come from?

"Out of the big book dreams. Words scribbled down in the middle of night or typed in transit, joined together with scraps of recording; hums and counters tapped eventually become stories and melodies."

When did you begin writing the songs on this album? Was there any particular song or spark that started the ball rolling?

"These songs arrived in the summer of 2021, all at once. As the songs really started to take shape, they overtook each other or fell behind like horses in a race."

When you’re writing a song, do you know immediately whether it’s going to be an ‘Elvis Costello’ song or an ‘Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ song? Is there a difference between the way you write for each?

"I never think about the artist billing when I’m writing, I’m too busy sensing the right music to carry meaning or a feeling. When songs first emerge, they could just as easily be accompanied by someone playing the spoons or a polka band for all I know but a loud electric guitar and a drummer in a basement turned about to be what was needed."

Did the pandemic interfere with the way you recorded this album at all? Was there anything you had to do differently?

"We had time and opportunity, that’s all I’d say. If there was anything I might have wanted to do differently, I would have done it."

You’ve worked with Sebastian Krys as co-producer again on this album – you seem to have formed quite a partnership there, what does he bring to the table?

"He has been my friend since we met while I was rehearsing NIGHTSPOT, an instrumental score written for Twyla Tharp and the Miami City Ballet, so you could say we met in a dance club. Humour is a necessary part of success and disaster alike, so I am glad we have found so many opportunities to work together; first producing me singing, 'Losing Game' with Marisol from La Santa Cecilia then contributing to 'Cinco Minutos Con Vos', a track from album, Wise Up Ghost with The Roots.

Sebastian helped my friend Guadalupe Jolicoeur with the translation of a verse into Argentine Spanish which was sung by Marisol, long before she appeared on “Spanish Model”, a new mix of “This Year’s Model” with a cast of Latin wonderful artists singing new lyrical adaptations over the original Attractions instrumental performances."

That's quite a lot in a short space of time....

"That is one of ten record albums on which we have worked together since 2018: Look Now, the E.P., Purse, the mixing of three records worth of live material for the Armed Forces box-set, Hey Clockface, the French language E.P., La Face de Pendule à Coucou, Spanish Model, The Boy Named If and one more that I could tell you about but then I’d have to kill you. You could say he brought a lot."

There’s been a huge amount of stylistic variety in your albums and collaborations over the years – are there any projects or ideas you’d like to take on but haven’t yet managed to tick off of your ‘musical bucket list’, so to speak…?

"Do you know the Hank Williams song, “'My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It'?"

What are your touring plans for the new album?

"We are playing England, Scotland and Wales in June 2022."

It must be a challenge putting together a setlist at this point, what kind of show can we expect? Do you like to change things up each night?

"In October 2021, we played twenty-two days in the United State, our first show since March 2020, when we played the Hammersmith Apollo. For the first time since 1977, I had two albums of unplayed songs at my disposal. Not only did we premiere the songs from The Boy Named If but The Imposters took possession of the six songs from Hey Clockface, songs I’d recorded in Paris with other musicians or in Helsinki, on my own in early 2020.

"All of these new songs provided a different road down which we approached the other songs in our repertoire and having Charlie Sexton joining us on guitar gave an extra dimension to the entire set. As they say: 'We hit at eight, Don’t be late.'"

Do you know yet what your next project is likely to be yet?

"You wouldn’t believe me if I told you."
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:41 pm

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 5:49 am
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:41 pm

Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

User avatar
John
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby John » Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:09 pm

Thanks to Sweetest Punch for posting all these reviews.

Just listening for the first time. Oh my!!! It’s great!

taramasalata
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby taramasalata » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:16 pm

https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/el ... k-100.html

one more radio feature on the new record, one more full of praise, "hemmungslos" meaning "without restraints" ... that seems to be the common label of the German music journalists, regarding the new record.

Actually, they love it.

heyhermano
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby heyhermano » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:21 pm

Third album in a row with an absolutely killer closing track. Whole thing is a banger, though!

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:49 am

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf202201 ... zldQ%3D%3D

RECENSIE. ‘The boy named If’ van Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Terug in de tijd ****


Wie de carrière van Elvis Costello grofweg in hoofdstukken verdeelt, weet dat we in fase drie zitten.
Stef Vanwoensel

Na dat eerste decennium, waarin de classics elkaar vlot opvolgden zonder hulp, vulde de Brit zijn ‘midlife’-periode met samenwerkingen, avontuurtjes en projecten die de onvermijdelijke carrièredip verhinderden. Maar vandaag, op zijn 67, lijkt Costello weer genoeg te hebben aan zichzelf en zijn trouwe kompanen.

The boy named If voert Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus terug naar zijn beginjaren, zelfs zijn kindertijd. Op een thematische plaat waarin de oudere Elvis zijn jongere ‘angry young man’-versie onder de loep neemt, keren als vanzelf ook de klanken uit zijn beginjaren weer. Opener Farewell, OK of het rammelende Penelope Halfpenny klinken zo boos en hoekig als de eerste albums met The Attractions.

Met in zijn rug The Imposters, waarin nog altijd enkele oude getrouwen uit de Attractions actief zijn, wordt de tijd met groot gemak teruggedraaid. Zo legt het orgeltje van Steve Nieve in Mistook me for a friend de brug met het 43 jaar oude Pump it up, terwijl Paint the red rose blue of Trick out the truth op rustiger weiden grazen, in de buurt van King of America (1986). Zo intuïtief, speels en aanstekelijk heeft Costello lang niet meer geklonken.

4 stars out of 5
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:02 am

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/musi ... -1.4760262

Elvis Costello: ‘What you get is this face and this voice that has changed’
The prolific post-new waver on cancer, death, friends and his latest album
Tony Clayton-Lea

To paraphrase Mr Kipling, 67-year-old Elvis Costello is in exceedingly good form. The Zoom chat has just begun, but he says he can only see a photo of me. I suggest that perhaps a photo is all he needs to see, but no, he isn’t having that. “I don’t want to look at that all the way through. I’d go funny . . .” I click video start, and we have lift off. Costello’s face brightens up even further. “Ah, there you go! How you doin’?”

One of the most prolific songwriters of the past 45 years, Costello has, unsurprisingly, a new album to talk about. The Boy Named If features a batch of songs written closely together and while some have connecting themes, they were not, he advises, “conceived as one big story”. And yet there is a sizeable physical storybook to crack open, brief story introductions to songs to read, and Costello’s own Art Brut illustrations to look at. In this era of streaming for all, where music can be easily listened to but rarely placed in context, it begs the question: why all the hard work for this particular album?

“The record comes first and that’s what most people will hear,” he begins. “There are only 6,000 of the books, and not everybody will want them, not everybody will be able to get them. We face a time where music is wonderfully accessible in all the ways that we receive it, but . . .” At this point, Costello breaks off from his thoughts, looks past my shoulder, and asks, “I don’t know whether that wall behind you is real or virtual?” It is real, I assure him, but I know why he is asking.

Scene into song
“You have a lot of CDs, so you like physical records! I like physical records! Of course, it is a bit dismaying when you work on something, you get it just so, and then it’s just tossed into the stream, floats away so rapidly, and it’s never assembled in that determined way again. It becomes part of just one long random playlist. I won’t deny that there’s an attraction about the accessibility of music in this form. It’s getting the balance between the two, so I made a leap – which I seem to be doing more and more these days – to say what if you could open the storybook that’s pictured on the album’s front cover? What if it became a reality?”

He says he had expected record label execs to say no to the idea, but “nobody said that”. The intros/stories were written quickly. “They came to my mind as being the scene leading into the song, what was going on in the background, or what was going to happen next.” The illustrations, meanwhile, were something he had been doing over the last few years. “I don’t really care whether or not people like them because they’re from inside my head. I’m not putting them in a frame in a gallery – they’re ephemeral in the sense that they’re pop art, truly, because they are connected to pop songs.”

He was, he says, doing the illustrations in a light-hearted manner. In fairness, he needed respite from some of the weightier issues that had come his way. He allows that in 2018, “I had a bit of a difficult year with one thing and another.” He is alluding to (as stated on his website) “a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy”. Some people, he offers, “made a big melodrama about this operation I had, but that was the least of it, frankly”. In the same year, his mother nearly died of a stroke. He spent a lot of time at her bedside in Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral. “Weeks and weeks I was watching her recover. If you have ever been in that vigil situation, there isn’t a lot you can introduce to enliven the spirit, you can’t talk to somebody who’s unconscious. There are also other people to consider in the ward: somebody is screaming, somebody is crying, somebody is complaining, and you just have to be quiet and be there when the person awakes.”

‘Tears at bay’
Costello’s mother, Lillian MacManus, died in February 2021. After a necessary time of mourning (“The passing of an older person,” he wrote on his website on the day of her death, “should be more the occasion for celebrating their long life, good fortune and strong spirit but when it’s your Mam, it is impossible to keep the tears at bay forever.”), he did what he has been doing since he was a teenager: write songs. He sent a batch he had been working on since the summer of 2020 to his long-time friends, drummer Pete Thomas, keyboardist Steve Nieve (each of whom has played with Costello since the late-1970s in The Attractions and, from 2000, The Imposters) and bass player, Davey Faragher. Like many other prolific songwriters, the quality of Costello’s output over his career has, inevitably, wavered, but it is no exaggeration to say The Boy Named If corrals many best aspects of his wide-ranging musical expression. I suggest the song styles reference a specific era of his career when his music was intensely punchy, taut, aggressive, and the lyrics pithy, eminently quotable – in essence, the years 1978-1982. Costello cuts in, a tad flinty. “I don’t think we were trying to replicate it.” I say I didn’t use that particular word, but he ignores me and continues, albeit less bothered.

“What you get is this face and this voice that has changed and that I have used in different ways. Forty-five years of myself, Pete and Steve playing together is going to give you some trust. It also gives you, frankly, experience of life together. We have watched each other go through different changes – marriages, children, the death of parents, all the things that any group of friends would go through, although we haven’t been absolutely side by side through all that. We have also been playing in this band, The Imposters, for 20 years, which is most people’s life in music. Forty years is twice as long, so you would have to almost go out of your way not to sound like yourself.” Perhaps the difference between now and then, he considers, is that the friends/musicians now listen to and trust each other much more acutely than they used to. “We have nothing to prove being rougher and tougher than anybody else because I know that on any day The Imposters could plant any other band. If that’s all you do, however, it gets a bit one-dimensional.”

Instinctively clued-in
This is something that Elvis Costello could never be accused of. From his 1977 studio debut, My Aim is True to The Boy Named If (as well as the wealth of collaborative recordings), he has been as much an inquisitive explorer as an eager partner. Not everything he puts his name to works, of course, but he remains irrepressibly creative and instinctively clued-in. A touring veteran (although it remains to be seen how many live shows will be allowed to take place in the first half of this year), he will continue to spin the wheels because that’s what he does. Thinking back, he says that by the summer of 2020, he had two records ready to go – the studio album, Hey Clockface, and Spanish Model, a unique reworking of his 1978 album, This Year’s Model, with Spanish artists enlisted to sing over the original backing tracks.

“By which point,” he brings the timeline up to date, “Pete was at me, saying that we couldn’t go back on the road and he couldn’t play along to Beatles and Motown records for the rest of his life in his basement. I threw him a song and said how about you play along to it? Suddenly, all the songs I’d been thinking about became a reality. Maybe if we had thought of a whole bunch of reasons why we couldn’t do it, we would have got tied up, but we let ourselves get occupied and connected, and before we knew what we’d done we had made the new record.”

Elvis Costello and Pavel Pavilowski: ‘He and his producer and I had a conversation in Paris two, maybe three years ago’
“I Do (Zulu’s Song), a track on my 2020 album Hey Clockface, and The Difference, a track on the new album, are indebted to [film director] Pavel Pavilowski. He and his producer and I had a conversation in Paris two, maybe three years ago, about a possible stage adaptation of his 2018 film, Cold War. I Do (Zulu’s Song) and The Difference were illustrations of how either a scene or even a line in his script could be a song. They weren’t songs from the score – we weren’t planning an actual score – but they are indebted to him in the sense that a line from the song alludes to a line in his script.
Scrabble and crosswords

“It’s very common in that quite often you quote or half-quote a line from an old film, a newspaper article or something you heard someone say in a bar. It’s a peculiar quirk of lyricists that I can look at a newspaper article and other people will read it from top to bottom, logically, yet I will see three words that will become a song title. I can’t do crosswords, I can’t play Scrabble, but I can do that. I don’t know what it is, it’s like a weird tic I have. That’s a stock in trade – be careful around me because I might write down what you say.”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:09 am

https://www.google.be/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... OCf6s1o9Nv

De nieuwe Costello: snapshots van jeugdigheid

Op ‘The Boy Named If’ duikt Elvis Costello in de tegenstrijdige gevoelens die een puber tot man maken. Het resultaat is een festijn van verslavende melodieën en tekstuele spitsvondigheden.

De volledige titel van het album luidt: ‘The Boy Named If (And Other Children’s Stories)’. If staat voor Imaginary Friend. Maar eerder dan een denkbeeldige vriend bedoelt Elvis Costello je diepere zelf, ‘die beseft dat alles wat je staalhard ontkent waar is’. De 13 nummers zijn snapshots van de jeugdige onbezonnenheid, de (on)schuld en de schaamte die horen bij het proces dat van een puber een man maakt. Het is een onbedoelde verhaallijn, Costello zag ze pas toen de songs al af waren.

Het album is op een bijzondere manier tot stand gekomen. Op 13 maart 2020 moest Costello een Britse tournee met zijn vaste begeleidingsband The Imposters stopzetten. Hij leek dat te hebben voorvoeld: op het laatste concert voor de lockdown speelde hij als bisnummer ‘Hurry Down Doomsday (The Bugs Are Taking Over)’, een apocalyptische track uit ‘Mighty Like A Rose’ die hij de voorbije dertig jaar amper live heeft gebracht.

Toen Costello even later thuis zat, was hij net als zijn bandleden nog helemaal in de koortsige stemming van de tournee. Drummer Pete Thomas zou hem later vertellen dat hij in de eerste weken van de lockdown achtereenvolgens de hele Stax-, Motown- en Beatles-catalogus heeft meegedrumd. Maar ook dat oude werk gaat na een tijd vervelen, en voor de bandleden er erg in hadden, waren ze elk vanuit hun kot alweer samen liedjes aan het maken.

Later haakten ook de baspartijen van Davey Faragher en de orgelsound van Steve Nieve in op dat viriele rock-’n-rollgeluid. Het grote verschil met de angry young man uit de late jaren 1970 is dat Costello de nervositeit en de gejaagdheid van toen kanaliseert in een opgewekter klinkend totaalpalet, dat zich onbevangen laaft aan de bredere waaier van genres die de volgende decennia zijn pad kruisten. Het belet hem niet om van bij openingstrack ‘Farewell, OK’ messcherp voor de dag te komen en die attitude driekwart album vol te houden.

Wonderlijk universum

Samen met de rockvibe maken de brugjes, de knappe arrangementen, de tekstuele spitsvondigheden en de geestige personages van ‘The Boy Named If’ een van de beste Costello-albums (de teller staat op 32) sinds lang. Ingekapseld in snedige, verhalende rocksongs is het wijsneusgehalte van Costello verteerbaarder dan ooit. Het caleidoscopische ‘Trick Out The Truth’ vertraagt het tempo op het einde wat en belandt zo in het melancholieke vaarwater van ‘God’s Comic’. Het nummer namedropt achtereenvolgens Mussolini (en zijn minnares), Gustave Mahler, Lady Godiva en Godzilla, maar wat een song.

Voor fans die zich nog meer in dit wonderlijke universum willen verdiepen, schreef Costello als verlengstuk bij de liedjes een boek met sprookjesachtige kortverhalen. Volgens de zanger eindigen je puberjaren ook pas als je stopt je te gedragen als een kind: ‘Voor de meeste mannen kan dat op elk moment zijn in de vijftig jaar na hun tienertijd.’ Met ‘The Man You Love To Hate’, een superieure pubrocktrack die we al enkele dagen niet meer uit ons hoofd krijgen, op instant replay hoeft dat geen onoverkomelijke hindernis te zijn.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:15 am

https://people.com/music/elvis-costello ... interview/

Brutal Youth: Elvis Costello Grapples with Growing Up on His Electrifying New Record
"Sometimes you want to let yourself go," the music legend says of revisiting his rock sensibilities on The Boy Named If
By Jordan Runtagh


Right or wrong, rock 'n' roll music — any old way you choose it — is traditionally associated with youth. So it stands to reason that Elvis Costello's most uproariously raucous album in many a year explores the tumultuous transition between adolescence and adulthood. The Boy Named If, out Friday, certainly bears a strong resemblance to the angsty-yet-articulate 22-year-old permanently etched in the grooves of his 1977 debut, My Aim Is True. But this, his 32nd disc, is far from a nostalgia trip. Rather, it's a return to the scene of the crime, the moment when one receives those grievous emotional injuries we spend the rest of our lives trying to reconcile. According to Costello, the 13 tracks "take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child — which for most men (and perhaps a few gals too) can be any time in the next 50 years." Brutal youth, indeed.

It takes a certain amount of bravery to revisit a time in the lifecycle that most would probably rather forget. But then again, bravery is Costello's stock-in-trade as a musician. Who else would take artistic leaps as frequent and fruitful, seemingly limited only by his imagination and good taste. He's played with everyone from the Roots to the Brodsky Quartet, Allen Toussaint to Chet Baker, not to mention Marcus Mumford, Roy Orbison, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Iggy Pop. To call Costello an artistic chameleon is putting it too simply. He's more akin to a Cheshire Cat, appearing and disappearing across the popular music spectrum at will, identifiable only by the sly grin that permeates his work.

The Boy Named If pairs him once again with the Imposters, his crack band consisting of two members of his longtime backing group the Attractions — drummer Pete Thomas, keyboardist Steve Nieve — plus bassist Davey Faragher. As with most "quarantine albums," it was recorded remotely, with the bandmates spread across Canada, France and the United States, and assembled in a piecemeal process by co-producer Sebastian Krys. But unlike most quarantine albums, it's vibrant, unified and as un-claustrophobic as a cool breeze. The tone is set with "Farewell, OK," a gleeful kiss-off bolstered by an onslaught of slashing guitar, organ stabs and thundering four-on-the-floor rhythms. The album's lead single, "Magnificent Hurt," could be a long-lost addition to the Nuggets garage rock compilation. A distant cousin of "Pump It Up," it's an obvious future classic in Costello's canon. The searing lead guitar of "What If I Can't Get You Anything But Love" is tempered with the glimmers of vulnerability found in lines like "Don't fix me with that deadly gaze/It's a little close to pity." Another highlight is the title track, an ode to a puckish invisible friend who takes the heat for our childhood misdeeds. The older we get, the less he's seen, leaving us to accept the blame alone.

It's tempting to psychoanalyze Costello's decision to take this decidedly unsentimental look back. After all, it's common during times of mass geopolitical turmoil to derive comfort from our past and solace from the things we once loved. This current crisis finds many of us spending more time in our rooms than we have since adolescence, which no doubt provides ample time for self-reflection. In Costello's case, so did upheavals in his private life. A cross-continent move from Vancouver to New York City with his wife Diana Krall and their twin 15-year-old sons marked a major transition. A more tragic milestone was the loss of his mother last January at the age of 93. In light of such shifts, it seems only natural to retrace one's steps.

Perhaps there are clues in his two most recent projects. In September he released Spanish Model, a reimagined version of his 1978 album This Year's Model, which featured a host of Latin artists singing Spanish-language lyrics over the original backing tracks he'd recorded all those years ago. That same month, he issued the Audible Original How to Play the Guitar and Y, a joyous and hilariously idiosyncratic spoken-word treatise on the nature of music-making and creativity. Steeping himself in his early rock-centric recordings, while simultaneously rediscovering the uncomplicated joy of bashing out a simple three-chord wonder, may well have paved the path for The Boy Named If.

Or not. Speaking about Costello in anything approaching absolutes is a mistake. Nuance is quite possibly the hallmark of his work, if one had to choose. Nothing is ever a simple declarative, be it the genre of his music or the meaning of his words. The energy of youth mixed with the wisdom accrued through Costello's 67 years of hard-won experience makes The Boy Named If a deeply thoughtful blast of rock 'n' roll, and one of the most enjoyable records he's ever produced. The album's themes contrast the most frightening elements of adolescence with the equally terrifying moments of adulthood, leaving you to figure out exactly which side of the grass is greener. Choose wisely.

In the following conversation, edited for length and clarity, Costello spoke to PEOPLE about new music, old habits, upcoming tours, and what moves him to write songs in the first place.

I got the sense that these guitar-heavy tracks are related — even just spiritually — to your recent Audible production How to Play the Guitar and Y, and also the reimagined version of This Year's Model. Is it fair to draw a line between those projects and The Boy Named If?

It wasn't conscious, but obviously a lot of things have happened that lead us here. In March 2020, we had to hurry home [from tour] as the borders were closing around us. There was all this uncertainty, fear, dread and everything that we've lived through this little while. But once home, I had the music that became Hey Clockface, I had the intention of recording the piece for Audible and we had been working on Spanish Model for a couple of years. In fact, it was ready to be released, but we had to accept that the circumstance in the economy, particularly in the countries of some of the singers who were featured, were not conducive to a new release.

So in that enforced pause, we got to work. These new songs were written close together. I guess the energy of coming off a tour [was an influence.] I'd already started off with a rock 'n' roll idea of my own in Helsinki at the beginning of 2020, where I made "No Flag" and these other songs that were kind of jaggedy. They certainly weren't the way they would've sounded with the Imposters, but once I got to work again writing, I wanted to go with major keys and a decent amount of tempo to tell a group of stories that seemed to hang together.

I wasn't consciously trying to pick up the energy, but I'd had the pleasure of listening to [producer] Sebastian Krys' mix of Spanish Model, which involved listening to the original instrumental tracks that we cut 43 years earlier [for This Year's Model]. When Sebastian pushed the faders up in and around these different Latin artists singing adaptations of my lyrics from all that time ago, he found all sorts of power and energy in the band. I think you'll find there are some tracks on Spanish Model where the band actually sounds more forceful [than on the original album]. We were all excited to hear what the singers brought back to us in their adaptation — bearing in mind that the three of us [in the Imposters] have been working together 44 years, on and off. It never harms to get a reminder of what it feels like to do something thrilling. Sometimes you want to concentrate on a ballad, as I did in Paris for Hey Clockface. Sometimes you want to let yourself go.

You have to let yourself not be embarrassed about rock 'n' roll. If you've been watching any of the Beatles' Get Back documentary, you see the most famous group in the world not being afraid to just sing nonsense words until the real words occur to them. There's something really endearing about watching them will those songs into existence, because it's something that I recognize — particularly in rock 'n' roll recordings. It's not that I tend to go into the studio with unfinished songs, but you're still writing them. Sometimes, in initially performing them, you don't really know how to do it. You have to let yourself go. Do you need to scream? Do you need to hold back a little bit? How is that going to affect the rhythm? There's me and [drummer] Pete [Thomas] in a dialogue. From the get-go of him and I playing together, there's been some sort of agreement between the words coming out of my mouth and his drums. That's as much the rhythm section as the actual rhythm section in some cases, because the words are coming out pretty fast. Before we knew where we were, we had a pretty solid foundation, which we then gave to Davey [Faragher] and Steve [Nieve].

It's very much a "band album." Listening to the record, it sounds like you could have all been onstage together at the Cavern or some other tiny club. It's so tight and intimate. The fact that you were, in some cases, separated by an ocean was remarkable to me. So much of rock 'n' roll is about playing as a unit and the resulting chemistry. Was that a challenge to keep the interplay going between the band despite the physical disconnect?

It really wasn't much different than people coming in and recording in separate boxes in different parts of the studio. There's a little bit of a time delay, that's all. You have to wait a day till you get the next bit, but it came. It was a puzzle that assembled itself, because we have a lot of ease and confidence in each other's judgment. I think something about not being looked at while doing it allowed us to play with maybe even more abandon than if we'd gone, "OK, we're going to go and make a record better than the other 30 we've made. Let's go!" Then you're self-conscious for a moment till you find it. In this, we had nothing to lose. What else are you going to do? Watch reruns on The Love Boat?

But I do hear what you're saying. I hear that urgency. And some of that is to do with what's going on in the compositions. I wrote them to be that way and the band didn't let me down. I think over the whole record, they get to do all of the things they're capable of.

You've said that this new record "takes us from the last days of a bewildered childhood to that mortifying moment when you're told to stop acting like a child." For most of us, that's quite a painful period. It's a time of excitement, but also a time of loss — loss of innocence, loss of a sense of certainty. What led you to revisit this time?

It just sort of came all in my mind at once. I suppose it can't be unconnected with the fact that, for the second time in my life, I had proximity to that in my home. I had less proximity when my eldest son was that age, because my career was just starting to happen then. I made choices, some of which I regret, and I missed very crucial things. Now my [younger] sons are almost 15. Until recently, we've all been in the house constantly.

Maybe also, the road ahead is shorter than the road behind. It just is.

None of the events of the last few years are far enough away to have really got into the songs through long contemplation. So just like asking me if doing Spanish Model or the Audible piece influenced the energy of this record, I can't say that the age of my younger sons, or the age of my older son, or my age, or the passing of my mother earlier this year definitively influenced the subject matter. But I don't doubt they're somewhere under the surface of all of it.

The lead single, "Magnificent Hurt" really stuck with me because it brought me back to the time of a first big heartbreak. Yet in the moment I almost enjoyed it because it was all new. There was a sense of "This is living!" Maybe it's a bit of the old writer's mentality: this'll make a good story someday. (Or perhaps I'm just a masochist.) Hearing this song, with lines like "But the pain that I felt/Lеt me know I'm alive," I got a sense that you maybe had a touch of that, too.

That song's not so specific. It's like you have such desire for somebody that it's pain; that it hurts. You have such longing. It's not really romantic, it's a carnal feeling I felt when I was that [age.] All allegiances and loyalty is lost in the moment of that thrill of desire. That's one way to say it. But it's true what you say, there's certainly moments of that. And then there's moments of fear of the unknown. You're leaving one world behind; its only certainty is that anything is possible. Your anxieties are probably just about being abandoned when you're a child. There's nothing that can stop your imagination, for better or worse, from going anywhere. So you have both dreams, fantasies, and nightmares.

Then as you become a teenager — as I recall — you become incredibly self-conscious and fearful. You feel like you're being looked at and judged when you might not be. And there's a period where other people, both other boys or sometimes girls or anybody you encounter, may have knowledge that you don't have, which makes you feel uncertain. Which is really what that song speaks of. And I tried not to point any fingers in that.

Are there any moments on the record that come to mind as being especially autobiographical?

"Penelope, Halfpenny" is sort of based on somebody I met when I was a kid. I romanticized this teacher who came briefly into our lives. It wasn't so much that she looked beautiful or that we had desires for her. She seemed to represent a series of possibilities in life that had nothing to do with learning the book we were reading. I felt like she wasn't likely to remain a teacher very long; that she was actually on her way to doing something else; maybe having a career in espionage or something. [laughs] She seemed to have a mind half out the door. And through that door, you could sort of imagine a really exciting world that grown-up people got to go. You didn't get there [in school]. There was something inherently sexy about that. Not so much the person, but what she represented: all the life that you didn't yet have any access to was thrilling. That's why I put it the way I did in the song: She "disappeared with the dot of a decimal place."

I tried to find all those little moments where you recognize that. "Mistook Me For a Friend" is about being young and reckless and completely without any compass. No moral compass, no actual compass. You're not really sure where you are, whether what's being said to you is an invitation or a threat or a seduction. Is it sincere or real, or transitory or illicit? But all of it's happening at such speed. Hence the music is more chaotic. It was fun to try and represent that rather than being actually in the moment. I've written songs when I was in that situation and they are different songs. These [songs] are not supposed to make you nostalgic for that time. This is another way to look at those moments, with maybe a little bit more of a sense of humor.

Humor and spontaneity. I was struck by what you said earlier about how "letting yourself go" is crucial to making music — specifically rock 'n' roll. That was something that you touched on in the How to Play the Guitar and Y project, too. For all of your insight and context into the historical background of music and music theory, I felt like you really respected the magic and the mystery of it all.

My way of expressing it is "keeping the inner idiot alive." Because I do think you can get over schooled in rock 'n' roll. I haven't signed up to this orthodoxy that at some point rock music got very, very successful around the mid-'70s to maybe the early '90s. There was an industry in mythology around rock — not rock 'n' roll but "rock" specifically — which leaves out a lot of other music that informs the development of it. Back in 1970, there was a festival celebrating Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard. They were seen as coming from another time, but look at the chronology: it was 10 or 15 years after they had had their first hits. It wasn't ancient history by any means!

My sons are 15 next week. I won't say who they like because next week they might not like them, but the people that they are interested in speak directly to them. If somebody likes Taylor Swift or BTS, they speak to them. And I don't see that as separate to rock. The only thing I object to about [rock devotees] is they can be quite high-handed about other forms of music. If you put orchestral strings on something, that's [seen as] sort of self-aggrandizing. If you like acoustic guitars, that's automatically put in a box and it's condescended to. Jazz is frightening to many orthodox rock people because they can't play it and they don't understand it. But that isn't a reason not to engage. It's like any kind of prejudice. It's based on ignorance and that's part of the whole sadness of this to me. Rock and roll was a subversive, revolutionary force that represented change and sex. Just like dancing and jazz. The word "jazz" was originally intended to be an insult, which is why a lot of people rightly say that's African American classical music — because that's another way to define it.

Whatever words you choose, don't let the thrill get away by being so narrow. There's a vested interest in telling this down-the-line rigid story about rhythm that hip hop subverted, R&B subverted, a lot of jazz subverted. It's why you won't see many conventional rock records in my choices, if I were to DJ for an hour. I probably would play mostly other kinds of music because [modern rock] just doesn't speak to me.

I was listening to your tour playlist that you posted online, which is certainly eclectic. I was reminded of the faux-warning label you had on [1981's album of country covers] Almost Blue: "Caution, might cause offense to narrow minds," or words to that effect.

My manager at the time thought of that as a way of teasing people, because of course it was pretty inexplicable that I like these songs as much as I did. I grew up listening to my father sing on the radio, and he sang all sorts of things from the hit parade. Good, bad or indifferent songs. I just respond to good songs, whether they're written by Rogers and Hart or Willie Dixon or Hank Williams or anybody else. There are people who wrote something great last week. I'm always hoping I'm going to hear an exciting new song, whatever style or form it takes. It can be in another language I don't even understand. But if you can sense how much it means to the person, you can respond to something in the sound of their voice.

That's kind of what I was trying to say in the Audible piece. It was trying to take away the fear of failure so you can let yourself go a bit more. When you play the guitar, it faces away from you. You can't see your own stumbles as readily as when you look down at your hands on the piano and think, "Oh, I played the wrong note." You'll hear the wrong notes, just like you'll hear the notes you're not fretting properly on guitar. But after a while it'll become fluent, and suddenly, if you start from the right place, you can master a song. And you'll be surprised how emotionally complex some of those very harmonically simple songs are. You're not just singing nursery songs. You'll be amazed to find that all of this emotion could possibly be accompanied by just three or four chord changes. The more you learn, the more you have access to more possibilities. And then it's down to your own curiosity. It's the combination of stimulating that curiosity to make yourself learn the mechanics of the instrument and also keeping that sense of play, including the foolishness. If I looked at myself doing it, I wouldn't do it. [laughs]

The jumping around looking at yourself in the mirror aspect of rock and roll — you have to keep that. I mean, look at most contemporary pop acts on a television show. What is the first thing that you notice about their demeanor? Do you know what I would say? They're quite narrow. Singers in the past, like Frank Sinatra, would put his arms out. He was small in stature and he would suddenly look imposing because he would put his arms out while he was singing and gesture in this very elegant way. But [today] you'll see even very beautiful people on television work [close]. You know why? Because they're looking at themselves on screens most of the time. They live in a kind of TikTok lens and there's nothing outside the frame. Doesn't matter if they've got dancers on either side of them. Their movements are very minute in radius. Check it out and you'll find it's true.

I'm not talking about somebody who dances everywhere on the stage. I'm talking about people who stand still and sing. They really stand still, but their faces go through a range of expressions, which are also a process of regarding yourself in the mirror. I'm not criticizing this, because we did it in a different way when I was a kid with literally anything that looked like a guitar — a big spoon or a tennis racket. People always say it's a kind of play-acting. It's an important part of doing rock 'n' roll.

My first experiences with "performing" music involved a piece of cardboard cut to look like Paul McCartney's Hofner bass when I was 10. Years later I learned that you got your start in roughly the same way!

I did the same thing. When you're a kid, you tend to draw things that you admire. I used to draw guitars on all my school books. And then I thought, "Well, if I can draw a little one, maybe I could draw it on cardboard." It was somewhere in my kid imagination, which is a lot to do with the moment that's described in several of the songs on this record — a moment of leaving that sort of wonder. When you draw as a kid, you can draw very exceptional devices that your imagination allows you to dream of. There's no inhibition. I remember that moment where I thought, "'If I draw that guitar, then I could cut it out, I could hold it, and then I'd be Paul McCartney," or whoever.

And that is repeated with a hoop and a stick or a little wooden puppet. Today, children have the ability to go within VR or animated screens because the technology allows them to express their imagination. I was scribbling little cartoons of guitars. Now I would be able to do a three-dimensional model and 3D print it or something. There's all these options. But it's also very encouraging when somebody in the present day actually picks up a pencil and still does it the same way as would be recognized way back in antiquity. Like Leonardo da Vinci did his drawing. There are drawings of things he imagined long before they were invented by scientists. An artist imagining a device that didn't exist, that's like the childlike wonder that we get scared out of when we leave childhood into the chaos of desire and confusion and fear. Fear that other people put on you, shame that other people put on you, your own stupidity, your own mistakes, your own denial of responsibility as you become an adult.

When you're a child, you break something and — like I've said in the songs on this record — you blame it on your imaginary friend. When you get to be 25, you say, "Well, it was my other side of me that came out that made me go get drunk and sleep with that other person." Whatever transgression it is. That bad alibi isn't so charming when you're old enough to know better, is it?

On the topic of drawing and sketching — there's an 88-page book to complement the record featuring vignettes for each song, and illustrations you've done under the name Eamon Singer. Were these pictures born from the same impulse that led you to sketch in school books? How do they dovetail with the music?

The short stories have the same titles as the songs and they are the preceding scene, the succeeding scene or the background action to the song in some way. So if you have the curiosity to read it, you would find something else about that song.

I scribbled away in books, as I said, when I was a kid. But I lost the freedom to do it when I became an adult. I became too self-conscious. It's just like not being able to dance or do handstands or any things that you did with less fear when you were a child. How many adults skip? Leonard Cohen used to skip onto stage. I found it very endearing that this man, who was 80, would skip onto the stage with a joyful sort of demeanor. Even though he was thought to be very dour, he was, of course, tremendously humorous.

I had the necessity and the desire to sit in what I feared would be a vigil when my mother had a stroke in 2008. I sat in the hospital by her bed for a good few weeks waiting to see whether what the doctor said was correct or, as I suspected, that she might actually emerge with some kind of clarity and comprehension from this event. (And she did.) And the way I kept up good cheer during that upsetting time was drawing. That's the sort of time where, in other realities, you would go to the pub or drink whiskey. I didn't do that. And obviously you can't sit in a hospital ward and play the guitar. So I sat there with an iPad and drew. I didn't draw her, I didn't draw me. I drew cartoons that became illustrations. Then they became identified in my mind with songs we were playing in concert or that I was writing.

Eventually it became part of the way I thought of the music, in a dimension outside the three or four minutes of the duration of the song. These images didn't have to be the best drawings ever done in the history of art, because I wasn't putting them in a golden frame and hanging them in a gallery. I'm just putting them in juxtaposition with the music. And frankly I don't care whether everybody thinks they're any good. They came from inside my head.

It's the same as when people ask you, "Is this a very personal record?" How personal is the inside of your head? Of course it is. It doesn't all have to be a last will or confession. It doesn't have to all be a painfully rendered real-time account of your life in the previous six months or three minutes. It could be somebody else that you imagined and tried to put yourself in their shoes. In some ways that's less selfish and less self regarding. And that's why I like to sometimes write character songs to try to summon something up. It's why crime writers very rarely go to jail for killing their creations. Maybe they don't get to be God, but they get to be judge and jury. And that is acceptable. Part of the morality of writing is it's not seen as wicked.

Here's a question that's going to betray the fact that I've never written a song in my life. When speaking with people who are blessed with the ability to write, I'm always curious to know what compels them to do so. In your case, is it a desire to communicate and connect with people? Or is it a need to simply get a melody or a feeling out of you — almost like an exorcism?

I haven't really questioned it that much because I've been responding to it since I was 14 or 15. Maybe even earlier than that. I think I knew I was some kind of writer from about 9. I wasn't sure what. Not music, because I didn't play a guitar until I was 13, but I wrote songs pretty soon after I managed to stumble into a few tunes by other people. They weren't very good, but that's how you learn. But I've never really questioned why I'm doing it. I know I wasn't doing it to be famous. I did think I was going to be a songwriter, though I don't know where I thought I was going to be working. I'd read about the Brill Building and I knew about Tin Pan Alley, but I didn't know the address, so to speak. [laughs]

My first attempts to get signed professionally were as a songwriter. I didn't actually audition for record labels. I went into publishers' offices like I'd seen in the movies and made them listen to me sing. And it was pretty mortifying because I have a loud voice in a confined space and the songs were very at odds with what was in the charts then. Plus I didn't look anything like [pop stars]. It was the height of glam rock and I'd come in wearing dungarees or something. Little by little, I found somewhere to present myself, given there weren't a lot of options.

And really, even as late as '77, when I took my little home-recorded tape into Stiff Records, I still thought I was going to be hired to write songs for other people on the label. That was my stated intention. I think it was their first idea that I might write songs for Dave Edmunds, who didn't write songs. I did later write a big hit record for him ["Girls Talk"] but I think what we realized very quickly when they sent me in to demo a handful of songs was that nobody else could sing them. They were tricky in ways that weren't immediately apparent. They weren't virtuosic songs in the way that opera is virtuosic, but they were very tricky because of the way I used words in rhythm. I was the one who could render the most coherent and vivid versions of them.

For how many songs I've written, which is around 400, the amount of cover renditions is quite small. It's restricted to a handful of maybe 20 titles that have been recorded more than once. But I'm not bothered. It's worked out okay. [I've written] 15 with Paul McCartney, 30 with Burt Bacharach, my wife [Diana Krall] and a few other people, plus all the ones I wrote on my own. I'll settle for that. I can't complain about anything. I've had tremendous good fortune.

And for these new tunes, I'm very, very fortunate to work with Pete and Steve and Davey for 20 years. And Charlie Sexton — he's been playing guitar with us, and that was another benefit to our live performance. The five of us played with a different approach. Suddenly we're having different conversations. For some reason we played with more dynamic control, maybe because we were listening to the little exchanges going on. And a little change is good. A massive change maybe seems perverse, but a small change to the balance of things really made these new songs light up and actually renewed a lot of the older songs, as well. So that's good. If Charlie comes with us for a little while longer, that would be lovely. We really love playing with him. It's just changed in some very unexpected way. We hope to do that when we go back to the stage this coming year.

Given the dearth of live music, has the last two years changed your relationship to performing?

I think it's really a moment where we can lose our sentimentality and our caution. I went last night to see Bob Dylan with my wife in Philadelphia. He did two songs from Rough and Rowdy Ways with such clarity. They were so vivid. I love that record, but it was as if they were 10 times more vivid than the recording. And what was more impressive and moving was that he did it repeatedly in the concert. They'd do a song that was in some way more familiar to the audience — although they were not by any means predictable choices — and then return to the repertoire from that [new] record.

It was just so inspiring. And of course, somebody coming along could say, "I wish he played this or that." But he didn't, he played these. It was uncompromising in the best way. It was with the confidence of somebody operating at the top of their powers, which is a very extraordinary thing to say when you're talking just chronologically about somebody who's 20 years past the time when some people are out in the garden digging a trench to fall into. This is vivid music being played at a high level of communication and feeling and humor. That's wonderful to have somebody you've admired a long time spur you on to hold your nerve and do the best that you can do. All the people I admire most don't compromise. And I'm sure I felt I haven't done that myself, but I know I must have done because everybody does at some point. It's not a question of laziness, it's a question of what's going to get the job done. Sometimes it's easy to throw in a song that you don't have so much feeling for, but [you know it's] one people respond to. Then you think, "Well that was too easy. Let's do something that takes us all on a little trip somewhere." And let's try and get somewhere where there's a feeling we haven't had before.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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John
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby John » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:58 am

Currently number 1 on Amazon’s UK cd/vinyl chart!

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby JPadoo » Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:19 pm

And number 3 on the US Amazon cd/vinyl rock chart and number 6 overall.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Ulster Boy » Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:56 pm

Just saw a TV ad for the album, on UK Yesterday channel

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby JerseyPride78 » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:42 pm

I'm trying to avoid overblown statements while I am caught up in the initial excitement of this record. That said, I've had about seven full listens and it's only getting better. Early favorite track is the Difference. What a gift this record is!

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Ajuqsfriendjon » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:47 pm

Truthfully, I haven’t gravitated to the recent EC albums. I liked the creativity and sound, but it hasn’t been as consistent as I hoped. However, these albums influenced Boy Named If, Seriously, this is an album. Not tracks laid out and called an album like Springsteen and the E Street Band have done for years. This album was produced well and really brought Steve, Pete and Davey to the forefront. Of course at first glance I say…it reminds me of Momofuku, When I Was Cruel, King of America, Brutal Youth and Wise Up Ghost. But it’s not. That’s me trying to like this as much and as quick as possible. It’s not anyone of those albums. It’s stands by itself. EC sounds great and plays with perfection. This is a holy shit album. This was the album I thought we were going to hear when I heard “Under Lime”. It wasn’t just yet. Now it is. Each song…yes each is different with various hooks and lines. Kudos and these dudes still got it.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:52 am

Premiere of Truth Drug (recorded at Memphis Magnetic Recording) at 00:23:30
https://youtu.be/7EDvRsLdBdU
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Newspaper Pane » Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:09 pm

I just got the story book. It's gorgeous, but is anyone else worried about EC? Some of the illustrations are disturbing :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:46 pm

Image

Irish Mail on Sunday
16 January 2022

Via
https://twitter.com/DannyMcElhinney/sta ... 36832?s=20

sweetest punch
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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:27 pm

Unboxing video of the CD-book version: https://youtu.be/2Z6-E5-SkjA
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:40 pm

https://www.rte.ie/culture/2022/0114/12 ... -named-if/

RTÉ Album Of The Week: Elvis Costello's The Boy Named If

Over a decade after he publicly mused about giving up recording altogether, Elvis Costello is back for another kick at the can with The Boy Named If (And Other Children's Stories). What's more, it's this week's Radio 1 Album Of The Week - listen to The Boy Named If below, via Spotify.

The Boy Named If sees Elvis reunited with his old cohorts The Imposters for a record that occasionally recalls his '70s heyday, while proving that 45 years on from his debut album, he remains a musical force of nature.
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Neil. » Mon Jan 17, 2022 3:51 pm

The above must be a typo, surely - there's no way Elvis Costello would be Radio 1's album of the week!

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Arnie » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:00 pm

I have listened through completely 4 or 5 times now. Mostly good. I can't say like others that EVERY track is great, but there are fewer flat spots than some more recent works.

The flat spots: Mistook me for a Friend - has some truly cringe moments. The yeah, yeahs at the end for example. And The Boy Named If title track is a tedious listen. What if I Can't Give You Anything But Love.

The okay: The Death of Magic Thinking - intro sounds almost exactly like Bow-Wow-Wow's I want Candy.

The best: Penelope Halfpenny - (damn, Pete sounds fantastic) - though a few too many "penelope's" sung out at the end, Paint the Red Rose Blue, Trick Out the Truth. And Mr. Crescent is outstanding.

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Re: The Boy Named If, new album by Elvis & The Imposters, January 14, 2022

Postby Top balcony » Mon Jan 17, 2022 5:34 pm

Arnie wrote: The Death of Magic Thinking - intro sounds almost exactly like Bow-Wow-Wow's I want Candy.


So that's it - this has been bugging me, I knew I was familiar with it, just couldn't remember what IT was!


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