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The Delivery Man Import

3.9 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 21, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Delivery Man was recorded in Oxford, MS and produced by Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, Counting Crows, Buddy Guy & Cracker) and Elvis Costello. Jon Pareles of the The New York Times says: "the album is steeped in Southern Americana: the gospel-rooted grooves of Memphis soul, touches of pedal steel guitar, Southern-rooted guest singers including Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams.

Take one part This Year's Model, mix with a bit of Almost Blue, and top off with a healthy sprinkling of King of America. Voilà, The Delivery Man! Elvis Costello's first album for Lost Highway finds the musician deftly exploring American roots music, from rock 'n' roll to country to soul, with assistance from the Imposters (stalwart Attractions Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas plus ace bassist Davey Faragher) and thrushes Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams. It also finds him back digging around in the ashes of a failed relationship. One of the collection's most affecting songs is "The Judgement," a reflective collaboration with Costello's second wife, Cait O'Riordan. Meanwhile, the album is dedicated to his third wife, jazz star Diana Krall. Hmmm. Romantic upheaval may color these songs, but no more than Costello's musical restlessness. For every elegant, wistful ballad ("Nothing Clings Like Ivy," "The Scarlet Tide") there's a raucous rave-up ("Button My Lip," "Bedlam"). The Delivery Man won't make anyone forget his best work; it'll help them recall what they loved about it. --Steven Stolder

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Button My Lip
  2. Country Darkness
  3. There's A Story In Your Voice
  4. Either Side Of The Same Town
  5. Bedlam
  6. The Delivery Man
  7. Monkey To Man
  8. Nothing Clings Like Ivy
  9. The Name Of This Thing Is Not Love
  10. Heart Shaped Bruise
  11. Needle Time
  12. Judgement
  13. Scarlet Tide

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B0002VEPL2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,423 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I must preface this by stating that I've been a lifelong fan of Elvis, purchasing "My Aim" Is True" as an import before Elvis had a US label. I have historically purchased everything he's released and enjoyed a great deal of what I've purchased. That's not to say I haven't had my disappointments (last year's "North" didn't stay in heavy rotation - good musically, but it just didn't engage me). "The Delivery Man", on the other hand, is a delight. It has a deliberately sloppy sound - the amps were mic-ed live in the studio and there is obvious spillover of the instruments between the various microphones - and gives you more of a "live" sound. It's also chock-full of the usual comples arrangements without feeling forced. Steve Nieve's keyboards sometimes take you back to "This Year's Model"

or "Armed Forces" and then come back to an immediacy that has been lacking as of late (as talented a musician as Nieve is he can occasionally bog down in some self-indulgent drama - not so here). Pete Thomas is still about the best rock drummer in a Jackson Pollock-y way (takes seemingly simple beats and uses them to perfect rythmic effect). Davey Faragher is just a revelation, he does some great harmonizing, particularly on "Either Side of the Same Town" and hardly makes me even think of that other bass guy. I could probably go on for several hundred more words but to summarize: if you like Elvis, it won't disappoint. If you've been disappointed by him lately, this may win you back. (I'm listening to his "Il Sogno" score - today's other new release - as I write this. I like it).
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Format: Audio CD
Elvis is my main man. I've bought the catalog in 8-track, cassette, 45s, vinyl, imported vinyl, CD, imported CD, imported reissue CDs, reissued domestic CDs...and I've done this strictly for the music. So, if, like me, you don't feel like shelling out another $15 for a disc you just bought--as enticing as the bonus disc is--allow me to direct you to iTunes, where the extra tracks are available at 99 cents each. I love ya Elvis but you're killin' me.
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Format: Audio CD
If you thought "North" was just to layered and marshmallow creamy, this is just what you were waiting for. The crashing mesh of "Button My Lip" is the most cacophonous album opener Elvis has led off with since "Uncomplicated." Instruments bleed over into each other, Elvis shouts and stutters his way through the lyric and at times, it sounds like the musicians are barely in time with each other. It's the kind of chaos Elvis has shifted away from over the past few albums.

As soon as he gets that moment out of the way, he jumps back to his country mode with "Country Darkness." It's almost as if the carefully crafted roots music of "King Of America" has been wed to the distorted and venomous "Blood and Chocolate." Elvis has made the comment that he wanted this to be his Johnny Cash album, and "The Delivery Man" frequently hits that mark. It would be easy to envision Cash insinuating "The Judgment," or even "Heart Shaped Bruise." "Bruise," one of two standout duets with Emmylou Harris, again shows Elvis' genuine affinity for country weepers. The Oscar nominated "The Scarlet Tide" (from "Cold Mountain") closes the album as gently as "Button My Lip" tears it open. It's not everyday you hear a rock album with a ukulele solo. And as heartfelt and somber as the moments with Emmylou are, Lucinda Williams' rollicking turn on "There's a Story in Your Voice" plays to the raucous opposite side of the yard.

If you are waiting for that one brilliantly catchy number (something that "North" seriously lacked), there is "Monkey To Man," a sing-along hook about class warfare. It is the most "Elvis-like" song here, and what kept me coming back to "The Delivery Man." Frankly, this is a hard album to like as you listen to it over the first few days. But not after the first week. The extremely raw and scruffy production may put you off at first, but just stay with it. "The Delivery Man" will, eventually, deliver the goods.
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Format: Audio CD
Restlessness seems to be Elvis Costello's style of late. He swings from one extreme (the traditional song cycle of "North")to the other ( "Il Sogno" his contemporary classical release that came out the same time as this conducted by San Francisco's Michael Tilson Thomas). I have to be honest, when I firt put this on I wasn't all that thrilled. On the second listen the album's quality and style captured me. Personally, I'd have it no other way. That's the same restlessness that drove EC to create "Armed Forces" and a couple of years later "Imperial Bedroom". That's range. Once again, EC ponies up and creates a near masterpiece. Sure, "The Delivery Man" isn't "Armed Forces", "Imperial Bedroom" or even "King of America" but its pretty darned close to all three in terms of the quality of the songwriting, performances and production. Embracing the rootsy elements that hang at the core of rock 'n' roll and country music, the original Napoleon Dynamite creates music that could be kissing cousins to Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle.

Lucinda Williams does appear on the album. She duets with Costello on the gut wretching "There's a Story in Your Voice". Emmylou Harris makes a cameo appearence on one track and does full blown duets on two others. The best of these the brief, touching "The Scarlet Tide" was written for "Cold Mountain". It's just the two of them performing an intimate, powerful song. Her other two appearences are equally note worthy although "The Scarlet Tide" closes the album with such grace that it's hard to beat.

The Imposters hold it all together while EC performs up a storm. Pete Thomas does his best time keeping suggesting that Charlie Watts and Ringo Starr are no longer the greatest rock'n'roll drummers.
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