This week’s posts could be filed under an ‘OK Boomer’ label, because I’ll be featuring new work by five white guys in their 60s or 70s.
I have to hand it to this group of artists. Well past traditional retirement age, they’re cranking out interesting and relevant new music. Well, four of them are… one is dead, but his family is releasing new material.
Even so, it’s hard to get too excited about these new albums. These guys are building on towering resumés — how can anything they do have a chance of measuring up?
Elvis Costello’s 2010 album National Ransom was a return to the country rock/Americana sound he employed so winningly on King of America 24 years earlier.
I can’t say I’ve revisited this album much since it first came out, but every time I hear one of its songs I’m reminded how much I like it.
The streaming revolution has no doubt changed music listening for the better.
For a small monthly price, I now have practically every song or album I’ll ever want to hear at my fingertips. I can listen to new releases by artists I might have otherwise never heard, and I can dive deep into the catalogs of great artists, unburdened by the costs that used to come with being a completist.
[Note: I am forgoing my usual April Fools’ Day post this year, in part because I’m in the middle of a Decades countdown and in part because the world seems to have turned into a giant, cruel prank without me needing to pile on.]
Elvis Costello’s Punch the Clock followed what may be his best album, Imperial Bedroom, by just a year, and in that context it can’t help but be a bit of a letdown. But it’s plenty good enough to land at #3 on my list of the best albums of 1983.
This Elvis Costello track shows up on one of the reissues of his 1983 album Punch the Clock.
It’s a testament to the depth of Costello’s catalog that a song this good can end up as a forgotten B-side, and also that after months of Costello Weekends, plenty of Random Weekend appearances, and a bunch of other Song of the Day posts, I still have to much great material of his to mine.