In a February interview for The Word magazine, Elvis Costello told David Hepworth that he had little intention of recording any more albums. But it’s an artist’s prerogative to change his mind. Before the interview was published, Costello actually went into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys with his band (The Imposters), engineer/co-producer Jason Lader and a few other musician friends, and by Valentine’s Day they had recorded Momofuku: a powerful rock ’n’ roll album that mostly lives somewhere between the processed distortion of his 2002 release When I Was Cruel and the electric, roots-influenced The Delivery Man (2004)—with a few surprises and a variety of influences as well, of course. Two of the strongest songs on the album are the ones Costello co-wrote with female singer/songwriters. “Pardon Me, Madam, My Name Is Eve” is a Costello/Loretta Lynn composition that Costello somehow sings convincingly from a female point of view. The passionate, poetic “Song With Rose” was written with Rosanne Cash. Most amusing to audio types may be the romantic ballad “Flutter and Wow,” (“You make the motor in me flutter and wow…”). But the most memorable song this time around is “My Three Sons,” a heartfelt and surprisingly personal tribute to the artist’s children that’s simply played but not exactly simple in sentiment.
PLAY: Must Play
Song With Rose
Producers: Elvis Costello, Jason Lader. Engineer: Lader. Studio: Sound City (Van Nuys, Calif.). Mastering: Stephen Marcussen/Marcussen Mastering (Hollywood).