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North

3.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 23, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0000C7PQS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Elvis Costello Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Elvis Costello is a constantly evolving artist, and his fans have come to expect the unexpected from him. This song cycle may prove to be his most challenging even for hardcore fans. This time around, not only has he abandoned his rock sound, as he has done before, but he has also tossed aside his trademark scathing lyrics. While some may view this as sequel to 1998's "Painted From Memory" with Burt Bacharach, this album is a more sparse affair, with none of the pop backbeat of the former. Many songs feature little more than piano and a string quartet as accompaniment. The melancholy feeling behind the songs evokes images of dusk on a brisk autumn day. The lyrics suggest heartbreak, disappointment, and the rediscovery of love, a topic seemingly new to the Costello oeuvre. The album may take a few listens to warm up to, but ultimately it is rich with musical delight. Overall, this is a solid effort from the artist. While the musical style is not for everyone, those who can appreciate a more sophisticated, "grown up" Elvis Costello should be able to enjoy this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Throughout his career, Elvis Costello has made his reputation on changing his music styles with the days of the week. Even the angry punk he had made his name on & with which he became an unofficial member of the movement was just one facet of his identity, for shortly afterwards, he dabbled in soul (1980's GET HAPPY!!), country (1981's ALMOST BLUE), baroque pop (1982's IMPERIAL BEDROOM), and even classical (1993's THE JULIET LETTERS). The latter has proven to be more than just an ordinary flirtation, for even while THE JULIET LETTERS album with the Brodsky String Quartet may have been a very obviously self-conscious affair, Elvis returned to the genre three times more, recording an album with opera singer Anne Sofie Von Otter (2001's FOR THE STARS) & then recording his first full-fledged classical work (i.e. not still having his lyrical talents to fall back on) with IL SOGNO (2004). In between those two, Elvis recorded a unique jazz-pop hybrid (although it is released on Deutsche Grammophon, the label for his classical material) with 2003's NORTH.

One of the things that makes NORTH Elvis' best classical-based work is the story behind its creation. After the divorce from his second wife Caitlin O'Riordan, Elvis met jazz singer Diana Krall (who my mother is quite a fan of). Supposedly, it was love at first sight, and by the time Elvis began work on NORTH (less than a year after 2002's artistic renewal WHEN I WAS CRUEL), the two were engaged. For someone as legendarily misanthropic in his music like Elvis Costello, the idea of him getting all lovey-dovey may be a frightening one.
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By A Customer on January 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Well, this falls into the category of "mellow Costello."

In the vein (not vain, as some reviewers might have you believe) of The Juliette Letters and other gentle Elvis, this is a CD to throw on as background music, light the candles, sip the wine, and chill.

Do NOT expect to rock, even for a second. Think slow jazz, and if you like Elvis' voice and the aforementioned style, you'll enjoy this CD.

If you're expecting a return to the Attractions, you'll regret buying this one.

For what it is, I like it. Elvis is top notch, a class act, and he rarely puts out junk.

Definitely worth a listen.
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By Jen on October 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just when you thought you knew Elvis, he hits you with this unbelievably honest record. These are all very straight foward songs about love and loss, and it's very discriptive of the happenings in his private life. no social commentary. no sarcastic undertones. This is THE most sincere album he has ever written. He orchestrated all the songs beautifully. If you are particular fan of Elvis's early work, and more rock n roll stuff, you might not like it as much. It's all ballads, in contrast to his last release When I was Cruel. But it touched me...damnit....a good record
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Format: Audio CD
As I gleefully unwrapped my newly purchased cd and inserted it in my cd player....I was instantly transported to an otherworldy jazz/piano bar.....with fantastic blue colored lights, cigar smoke, cognac, and the most awesome music I'd heard in years! This was aided in part by the fact that I had no preconceived notions on what this album would hold...and the fact that the heavens had just opened and poured out rain that evening.
I would gladly and profusely encourage anyone to buy this! It is a quintessential piano cd with overtures of someone pouring out their soul....
Well done, Elvis, well done
9.5 stars....[.5 stars withheld due to album cover art]
"it's gotta good beat"
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Format: Audio CD
This is my first Elvis Costello CD and I guarantee it will not be my last. That haunting voice, the strings - indeed, the entire accompaniment - the words and emotions....it all comes out in NORTH. These arrangements are near the top - a male Linda Ronstadt one might say.
The surprise is that every single track is as good as the previous one unlike others of this ilk wherein one is lucky to get 3 or 4 on an entire recording. A gifted artist and a near perfect production.
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