Elvis Costello and the Imposters Momofuku

Now evidently settled in Vancouver, and with no intention of returning to England, it may be surprising that Costello still has the urge to keep his original pop punk flame burning. His several attempts to do this over the past decade with the Attractions (ahem, the Imposters) have yielded mixed results, and right off the bat Momofuku sounds merely like Costello-by-numbers. But as always, it takes some time to fully digest the lyrical barrage. For the most part, Costello’s pen is still loaded with poison, as evidenced by the classic relationship drama "Harry Worth,” as well as the Lennon-esque "Mr. Feathers.” Thankfully, he doesn’t completely ignore what has become his strongest area: Americana. In many ways this saves the album, starting with the gorgeous ballad "My Three Sons,” which leads into "Song With Rose” (co-written by Roseanne Cash) and "Pardon Me, Madam, My Name Is Eve” (co-written with Loretta Lynn). While some fans might prefer Momofuku’s heavier hitters, it is on these countrified numbers that Costello sounds more at home. Looking back at his career, it’s probably where he was always most comfortable. (Lost Highway/Universal)