Elvis goes north

Published: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 1:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 at 1:40 p.m.

There are those favorite albums we all have, the ones that we toss in the CD player and crank the volume up really loud. Soon after, we begin a sing-a-long with lyrics we think are part of the song.


Elvis goes north

Elvis Costello

Grade: B+
Released: September 23, 2003
Produced by: Elvis Costello and Kevin Killen
Tracks: 1. You Left Me In The Dark
2. Someone Took The Words Away
3. When Did I Stop Dreaming?
4. You Turned To Me
5. Fallen
6. When It Sings
7. Still
8. Let Me Tell You About Her
9. Can You Be True?
10. When Green Eyes Turn Blue
11. I'm In The Mood Again
Format: SA-CD/CD
Channels: 5.1/2.0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon/Universal Music

This album is not one of those. Elvis Costello's recent effort North is more of a journey into a soft, cold, blissful place. A place more suited for a bed or a couch; where daydreaming can run rampant until it's time to go to sleep.

North was released by Universal Music under their Deutsche Grammophon label, a label usually reserved for classical music releases. While this album does have its fair share of orchestration, it is more of a pop-jazz-classical mix than it is anything else.

Due to a lack of melody on this album, you won't find yourself humming any of the 11 songs on the album anytime soon. But, don't let this shy you away from the album. With a listen or two, you'll find yourself more relaxed and sad, yet hopeful about love.

The album is full of lyrics such as "See how the elements obey?/ Eyes are blue/ Skies are grey/ Nothing I do can make you stay/ I'm glad it will rain today."

The CD version of the album sounds great, but this album really shines when listening to the SA-CD version. The SA-CD stereo mix goes a step further than its CD counterpart by sounding more rich and warm. The multi-channel mix goes even further by creating openness among the voice and instruments. A feeling that may leave you wanting to curl up in the middle of it all.

Costello became a huge fan of jazz pianist/vocalist Diana Krall after seeing her in a club in New York City. It shows on this album with very similar orchestration as found on her last album. His love went beyond just for her music, Krall and Costello were married in 2003. Recently, he wrote and produced several songs for a release by Krall sometime later this year.

If you buy the album, go ahead and get the SA-CD release. It will cost you just the same and plays in a regular CD player. And, even if you don't have an SA-CD player yet, you might in the future.

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