Kidnap This Album
Published: Monday, November 8, 2010
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
Artist: Elvis Costello
Album: National Ransom
Release Date: Nov. 2
Label: Warner Bros.
Elvis Costello has had quite a prolific career. He's been in the business for over three decades and has released roughly an album per year. He's released one or two flops in that time, but Costello's discography is filled with classic albums.
His latest album, National Ransom, falls in with the majority of his discography.
Featuring 16 tracks of classic blues, punk aggression and country, National Ransom offers something for everyone.
The album starts on a very high note with the title track, an angry piece of political blues-punk. The track would have fit right in on 1994's Brutal Youth. It gets the listener's attention right away, letting him know this will not be a mellow affair.
The title track can be viewed as a protest song of sorts, as Costello expresses his displeasure with American capitalism. If the song doesn't get the message across, the album cover certainly will.
Featuring a ravenous wolf in a top hat carrying a sack of money, the message isn't exactly subtle. It does, however, get the point across.
With that said, the album isn't entirely political. Love songs have always played a major role in Costello's repertoire, and this remains true on National Ransom.
Tracks like the tender ballad "You Hung The Moon" and the country-folk number "A Slow Drag With Josephine" remind the listener that Costello is really a hopeless romantic beneath his angry exterior.
There's not much to complain about here, but one weak spot is the acoustic blues number "One Bell Ringing." The song doesn't fit in anywhere, and it doesn't have much of a melody.
Still, that's a very minor gripe on an otherwise excellent record. Costello has been making strong records for decades now and shows no sign of stopping.