Elvis Costello National Ransom Album Art

Elvis Costello’s 2009 album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane touched on bluegrass, R&B, and Americana with producer T-Bone Burnett. This year Costello’s back with similar sounds and the same producer, and a consistent theme: The financial collapse. But the collapse seems to stand in for all kinds of American tragedies, personal, national, international, etc. (Costello describes the album as “… for the bankrupt times, whenever they may be.”) Members of the Imposters and the Sugarcanes appear on the record alongside special guests Vince Gill, Marc Ribot, Buddy Miller and Leon Russell.

National Ransom is out 11/2 via Hear Music/Concord Music Group. The track list:

01 “National Ransom”
02 “Jimmie Standing in the Rain”
03 “Stations of the Cross”
04 “A Slow Drag With Josephine”
05 “Five Small Words”
06 “Church Underground”
07 “You Hung the Moon”
08 “Bullets for the New-Born King”
09 “I Lost You”
10 “Dr Watson, I Presume”
11 “One Bell Ringing”
12 “The Spell That You Cast”
13 “That’s Not The Part of Him You’re Leaving”
14 “My Lovely Jezebel”
15 “All These Strangers”

Comments (1)
  1. You know, EC did his most important writing during the bad, bad times leading into the Winter of Discontent (1978). His songs were angry, restless, discontented — but not literal, as regards the UK’s debilitating strikes and wage controls. Outright protest songs would’ve sounded dated and hacky by now. So I’ve got some hope for this batch of songs, unless they are too literal. He could use a good record, lest he lose the long-timers.

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