Elvis Costello & The Roots! Wait, is this the The Imposter going all hip hop on us, his unsuspecting audience? Well, maybe we should expect just a little bit of something like that from him. Throughout Costello's long career he's dabbled with just about any musical cloak a pop musician could try on. From soulful party starters to hook laden pop jams, New Orleans styled jazz, and bluegrass and country he's got a little of everything up his sleeve. Fear not however, the bespectacled troubadour is not bent on rocking the mic. Wise Up The Ghost finds Costello and The Roots in the comfortable middle ground between their two cannons. Hip hop takes a backseat to its influences as The Roots lay down soul and funk inspired jams for Costello to let loose on. The best moments come when things get a little quieter and the pace takes a bit of a dip. "Tripwire" just might be the highlight; a heavily swung 6/8 shuffle sets the mood and provides the only moment that Costello lets his trademark near falsetto out. At this point in his career Wise Up The Ghost is about the funkiest that Costello has ever been. In teaming up with The Roots he could not have found a better band to take him there. Remix versions also available.
- music label: Blue Note 2013
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 10/2013