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Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface

  by Nick Dent-Robinson

published: 22 / 12 / 2020

Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface
Label: Concord Records
Format: CD


Eclectic latest album from Elvis Costello which, despite being recorded in muliple locations, carries a powerful emotional punch

Elvis Costello's new album, 'Hey Clockface', was put together in a variety of locations. It was started in Helsinki in February. Then, just prior to lockdown, it continued in Paris in a studio alongside local jazz luminaries. Finally, as the coronavirus struck globally, completion was undertaken remotely - including with a band based in New York. The result is a record of stark contrasts. There are saw-toothed Scandinavian and Finnish songs, softer Parisian tunes plus powerful New York-influenced tracks. Occasionally the outcome does feel a tad disjointed. For example, an edgy 'Hetty O'Hara Confidential' track, recorded in Finland, sits sandwiched between two sweet, picture-perfect piano ballads from Paris. Some people might like this effect, however. And the album absolutely reaffirms Costello's mastery of the art of songwriting. 'Hey Clockface' may be less polished than Costello's lush 2018 album, 'Look Now' but Argentinian co-producer Sebastion Krys has ensured the new record fully reflects the scope of Costello's talent. “I wanted this album to be vivid,” Costello says, “Regardless of whether the songs demanded playing that was loud and jagged or intimate and beautiful. The songs cut in Helsinki are a reflection of punk energy....a bit reminiscent of 'This Year's Model', the album I did back in 1978. There's a deliberate darkness and menacing feel there. By contrast the nine Parisian songs are playful yet tinged with regret. The New York songs fall between the two yet are atmospheric and contemporary. The album is intended to be an interesting mix of styles and I think we achieved that.” Apparently, Costello considered putting 'Helsinki-Paris-New York”' on the album cover, as if it were a cosmetics brand or advertising agency - but the graphic designers worried about there being insufficient space for this. There's no question, however, that Elvis Costello can write perfect songs packing a powerful emotional punch, regardless of the city of origin!

Track Listing:-
1 Revolution #49
2 No Flag
3 They’re Not Laughing At Me Now
4 Newspaper Pane
5 I Do (Zula’s Song)
6 We Are All Cowards Now
7 Hey Clockface / How Can You Face Me?
8 The Whirlwind
9 Hetty O'Hara Confidential
10 The Last Confession Of Vivian Whip

Band Links:-

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