Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Quintessential Autumn Album (at least to me)

As we enter autumn, there's one album that perfectly embodies the season (at least to me): Elvis Costello's 2003 jazzy classical (or classically jazz) North. From the laid back string and piano-laden music and lyrical imagery ("I trampled through the amber and the burnished gold") to the album artwork and leaf-strewn videos on the bonus DVD, it just feels like fall. It is a song cycle that chronicles the falling apart of his marriage and then his finding a new love (Diana Krall). The immediate pop hooks of Costello's previous work aren't here, but it is a rewarding listen nonetheless (other reviews and articles).

Included on the album is possibly my favorite Elvis Costello song - "Still":

These few lines I'll devote
To a marvelous girl covered up in my coat
Pull it up to your chin
I'll hold you until the day will begin

Lying in the shadows this new flame will cast
Upon everything we carry from the past
You were made of every love and each regret
Up until the day we met
There are no words that I'm afraid to hear
Unless they are "Goodbye, my dear"

I was moving very fast but in one place
Now you speak my name and set my pulse to race
Sometimes words may tumble out but can't eclipse
The feeling when you press your fingers to my lips

I want to kiss you in a rush
And whisper things to make you blush
And you say, "Darling, hush, hush
Still, still"

So buy it, download it, or get it from the library. Then put on some coffee, bundle up, and give it a listen.

(Hooray for me: I just found - through illegitmate means - the import-only bonus tracks "North," "Impatience," and "Too Blue")


Bradley Herring said...

If they're not available in the States, is it really illegitimate to obtain them?

Vastly underrated album, I concur. Takes a few listens to really get into it, though.

Micah said...

Well, that's my justification for downloading those songs. Glad someone else thinks that way!