Secret, Profane and Sugar Cane
Its been 32 years since the debut of My Aim Is True and the sequence of Costello (and the Attractions) albums that followed. But, depending on your perspective, its been 10 to 20 years since the release of a Costello album qualified as an event.
So its no surprise that the hype surrounding Secret, Profane and Sugar Cane has centred on Costellos embrace of acoustic stylings and the return of producer-pal T-Bone Burnett. But anyone looking for the focused, nasty brilliance of early Costello albums might be a touch disappointed in his latest. Like much of his recent work, the album at times seems like a series of homework assignments the singer gave himself to show off his command of song forms. Nevertheless, the results are occasionally stunning. Its worth owning, but not one well be talking about in another 32 years.