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|Studio album by |
Elvis Costello and the Imposters
|Released||12 October 2018|
|Studio||Hollywood, New York City, and Vancouver|
|Producer||Elvis Costello, Sebastian Krys|
|Elvis Costello and the Imposters chronology|
Look Now is the 30th studio album by singer-songwriter Elvis Costello and his band, The Imposters and was his first studio album in five years. Costello wrote and produced a large majority of the album himself, with co-production help from Sebastian Krys, a Latin Grammy Producer of the Year in 2007 and 2015. He co-wrote a new track with Carole King ("Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter") and worked with Burt Bacharach on three other songs.
Costello told NPR that it is the "uptown pop record with a little swagger" that he had been wanting to make for 20 years. They named the album one of their best new albums of the week during its week of release.
AllMusic describes that the album "often feels like a cross between Imperial Bedroom and Painted from Memory, Costello's 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach. This was thought to have been due by Bacharach co-wrote three tracks with Costello," adding, that it "isn't rock & roll so much as it's pop that blends the craft of classic Brill Building tunes of the '60s with the narrative maturity of classic Broadway musicals and the sort of ballads that were once the purview of classic jazz vocalists."
The collaboration with King was a project 20 years in the making. The two forged a friendship over eating sushi together in Manhattan, before finally making music together.
|The Irish Times|||
NPR calls the album, "Meticulously crafted, clever, polished...you can't imagine a group of surer hands for him to be working with," and noted it as one of their "best new albums" out from its 12 October 2018 week of release.
Chris Willman writing for Variety called Elvis Costello and The Imposters "the world's greatest pit band", meaning that as "a raging endorsement of Costello's rage-free side." Adding, "It's so funny to be seeing him (Costello), after all this time, making a great cake of an album that doesn't really sound that much like any of the 30 before it."
USA Today writes, "The sophisticated chamber-pop arrangements suggest a return to the form he first explored in depth on Imperial Bedroom, a 1982 release produced by Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick. And it does so while holding its own against that masterpiece, perhaps because it was conceived after revisiting that album on the road."
Joe Lynch for Billboard writes, "Look Now, however, hardly lacks in vitality. With his deft pen providing sharp studies of romance and murky motives, the album sees Costello tapping top-shelf studios such as L.A.'s EastWest and NYC's Electric Lady for this collection of lush, sophisticated pop."
Pitchfork stated: "Look Now plays at first like a simple set of songs that eschews grand concepts for immediacy... Despite their stateliness, these tunes are startlingly direct, both emotionally and melodically. They carry only the vaguest air of Costello’s signature cleverness and no trace of anger. [After 'Under Lime',] the rest of Look Now proceeds at a gentler, empathetic pace, lingering upon the bittersweet plights of their protagonists—usually women, always etched with kindness—instead of rushing toward a conclusion."
Uproxx called Costello "one of the greatest songwriters of the last 40 years. Full-stop, no question, no debate necessary," describing the track "Unwanted Number" as "so completely an Elvis Costello song, a mix of cheeky irreverence and deep melancholy sadness that I don’t think there’s any other way to describe it."
Consequence of Sound writes, "Costello's been around so long that it should be easy to pinpoint what a new record will sound like even before fans put ears to it. But his ability to shape-shift in and out of genres wide and far still gives his new material a bit of intrigue. Look Now is another solid entry into an already healthy and vital body of work. It’s not his absolute best, but it still earns a spot in the meatier part of his iconic recording arc."
Elvis Costello and The Imposters toured America in support of the album in November and December 2018.
|1.||"Under Lime"||Elvis Costello||5:35|
|2.||"Don't Look Now"||Burt Bacharach / Elvis Costello||2:28|
|3.||"Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter"||Elvis Costello / Carole King||4:16|
|4.||"Stripping Paper"||Elvis Costello||3:52|
|5.||"Unwanted Number"||Elvis Costello||3:33|
|6.||"I Let the Sun Go Down"||Elvis Costello||4:26|
|7.||"Mr. and Mrs. Hush"||Elvis Costello||3:46|
|8.||"Photographs Can Lie"||Burt Bacharach / Elvis Costello||3:38|
|9.||"Dishonor the Stars"||Elvis Costello||3:18|
|10.||"Suspect My Tears"||Elvis Costello||4:49|
|11.||"Why Won't Heaven Help Me?"||Elvis Costello||3:22|
|12.||"He's Given Me Things"||Burt Bacharach / Elvis Costello||4:11|
|Deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"Isabelle in Tears"||4:02|
|14.||"Adieu Paris (L'Envie De Étoiles)"||3:31|
|15.||"The Final Mrs. Curtain"||2:58|
|16.||"You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way" (from the Motion Picture Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool)||4:33|
- Elvis Costello – vocals, arranger, composer, multi-instrumentalist
- Steve Nieve – Fender Rhodes, keyboards, Mellotron, piano
- Davey Faragher – bass, vocal arrangement, background vocals
- Pete Thomas – drums, percussion, tambourine
- Sebastian Krys – co-producer, engineer, mixing, percussion, producer
- Burt Bacharach – composer, piano
- Carole King – composer
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Steve Bernstein – piccolo trumpet, trumpet
- Cyrus Beroukhim – violin
- Katarzyna Bryla – viola
- Christopher Cardona – viola
- Claire Chan – viola, violin
- Robert Chausow – concert master, violin
- Doug Emery – chart, pre-production
- Tommy Faragher – background vocals
- Lawrence Feldman – alto sax
- Duarte Figueira – production assistance
- Erik Friedlander – violoncello
- Clark Gayton – trombone, bass trombone
- Juliet Haffner – string contractor, viola
- Sheryl Henze – flute, alto flute, piccolo
- Christopher Komer – French horn
- Kitten Kuroi – background vocals
- Briana Lee – background vocals
- Jeremy Levy – transcription
- Tim Mech – guitar, technician
- Scott Moore – second engineer
- Louise Owen – violin
- Seth Presant – second engineer
- Michael Rabinowitz – bassoon
- Chaz Sexton – second engineer
- Coco Shinomiya – layout
- Antoine Silverman – violin
- Eamonn Singer – illustrations
- Ivy Skoff – production coordination
- Ron Taylor – engineer
- Gosha Usov – second engineer
- Doug Wieselman – alto sax, baritone sax, tenor sax
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||21|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||6|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||96|
|Canadian Albums (Billboard)||62|
|Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)||35|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||32|
|Portuguese Albums (AFP)||50|
|Scottish Albums (OCC)||8|
|Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)||17|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||40|
|Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)||37|
|UK Albums (OCC)||14|
|US Billboard 200||46|
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- "Elvis Costello returns to 'Imperial' form on first album in 5 years, 'Look Now'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Elvis Costello on His Cancer Scare, Reteaming With Burt Bacharach & Immigration". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "Elvis Costello / The Imposters: Look Now Album Review | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
- "All The Best New Rock Albums That Dropped This Week". Uproxx. 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
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