Elvis Costello - There's A Story In Your Voice (Mercury)
UK release date: 7 February 2005
That Elvis Costello can pen a tune is beyond question - I woke humming
There's A Story In Your Voice. That country music is not a dilettantes detour
for Costello is evident by his output as far back as 1981's Almost Blue. That
as a lyricist he is capable of caustic wit and rare compassion has been apparent
throughout his long career. It's such a pity that the song lacks his usually
A duet with Lucinda Williams, the doyen of left field country, the
mood is one of countrified southern soul reminiscent of James Carr or
Solomon Burke in overdrive. The Imposters' surging tense R'n'B rumble
conflicts attractively with the country tinged guitars and tambourine
counterpoint. A boxcar rhythm rattles pasted on tracks travelled by Green On
Red and Jim White. Costello's worn raspy bark blends wonderfully with
William's grits, gravel and gravy voice.
The gumbo groove is solid, tight, urgent but lacking something.
Unfortunately the lyrics are Costello by numbers - a couple of pithy lines here,
a pun there, but lacking depth or drive. This undermines the song. Leaving well
intentioned, beautifully rendered but ultimately soulless pastiche.