The Delivery Man

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
With all his recent forays into pop standards and classical music, it's been easy to forget that Elvis Costello can be one of the most urgent rock singer-songwriters of his generation. That's the point he confirms again and again on The Delivery Man, his most aggressive album in ages. That's evident in the blistering opener, "Button My Lip," which churns with the same sort of pugnacity that permeated Costello's earliest offerings, but it's just as important a component in songs that don't simply explode. "Monkey to Man," for instance, conjures up images of a Mississippi roadhouse with its call-and-response vocals and stinging, bluesy guitar riffs, while "There's a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
With all his recent forays into pop standards and classical music, it's been easy to forget that Elvis Costello can be one of the most urgent rock singer-songwriters of his generation. That's the point he confirms again and again on The Delivery Man, his most aggressive album in ages. That's evident in the blistering opener, "Button My Lip," which churns with the same sort of pugnacity that permeated Costello's earliest offerings, but it's just as important a component in songs that don't simply explode. "Monkey to Man," for instance, conjures up images of a Mississippi roadhouse with its call-and-response vocals and stinging, bluesy guitar riffs, while "There's a Story in Your Voice" continues the south-of-the-Mason-Dixon motif with plenty of honky-tonk attitude and a fiery guest vocal turn by Lucinda Williams. Costello's long-standing fascination with country music shapes several of the disc's tracks, most obviously the pedal steel–driven "Heart Shaped Bruise" -- a duet with Emmylou Harris -- and "Needle Time," which seems to be a particularly pointed no pun intended missive directed at Cait O'Riordan, Costello's ex. While it's definitely rough around the edges, The Delivery Man is also warm enough to offer some comfort between the body blows -- a fine combination, indeed.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Elvis Costello's 21st studio album, The Delivery Man, was intended as a song cycle or a concept album, not that you could ever tell from listening to album. During the prerelease promotion for the album, Costello claimed that he had written a narrative concerning a delivery man in the American South, following him on his journeys and through his relationships with three women of different ages and backgrounds. He also said that he deliberately presented the songs on the album out of narrative order, even taking songs off the record if they revealed too much about either the character or the story. All of this pretty much means that The Delivery Man lacks even a semblance of a narrative, and the only way to know that it's supposed to have one was to read prerelease press or reviews. In other words, the record wound up not as a concept album but as a conceptual album, one that is inspired by the South, in both its music and its imagery, so it's fitting that it's released on the Americana label Lost Highway in Costello's ongoing quest to release an album on every one of Universal's various imprints. While the narrative may have been thrown out the window, that doesn't mean it wasn't needed, since the fledgling concept helped focus Costello even if he didn't follow it through to a complete conclusion. The story of The Delivery Man may have faded away, but working within its framework has inspired Costello to craft his most consistent, unified rock & roll album in many, many years. It's also his best rock record in a long, long time, one that pulls off the nifty trick of being looser, harder than When I Was Cruel while being as sophisticated as North. Make no mistake, this is a composer's record, written with an assured, knowing hand and a deliberate sophistication; it's hard to hear "Country Darkness" without envisioning the written score that gives the tune its gentle lilt. Instead of being an Achilles' heel, this bent toward serious, structured composition is a benefit, revitalizing Costello's writing. On Cruel he sounded labored, as if writing a rock album was a chore, but here he's threaded different musical strands -- chiefly country, blues, and soul, but also how he wrote in his '80s heyday; witness how "Either Side of the Same Town" and "Bedlam" are close cousins to Trust -- into a style of writing that's more akin with North than any previous rock record. Here, there's an economy to his words and a directness in the basic melodic structure that gives the songs a strong backbone, and help ground his winding eclecticism, which he nevertheless keeps in check by concentrating primarily on Southern musical traditions. But what really makes The Delivery Man work is that it just plain sounds good. It's the first album that he's recorded in its entirety with his road band the Imposters, and they give this music serious muscle, but it also helps that the production by Costello and Dennis Herring stays out of the way -- it's simple, direct, and unadorned, letting the performances shine through. The Delivery Man isn't perfect -- "The Scarlet Tide" is as mannered here as it was on the Cold Mountain soundtrack, while the very good "There's a Story in Your Voice" is nearly derailed by an unhinged Lucinda Williams -- and it never feels as urgent as his prime work, but it's at once his most accomplished and visceral record as a veteran rocker, which is welcome indeed.
Rolling Stone - Anthony DeCurtis
It seems that as Elvis Costello explores more elaborate musical styles... his rock & roll grows rawer and more impassioned.

It seems that as Elvis Costello explores more elaborate musical styles... his rock & roll grows rawer and more impassioned.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 602498624296
  • Catalog Number: 000259302
  • Sales rank: 368,561

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Button My Lip - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:54)
  2. 2 Country Darkness - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (3:57)
  3. 3 There's a Story in Your Voice - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (3:42)
  4. 4 Either Side of the Same Town - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (3:59)
  5. 5 Bedlam - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:48)
  6. 6 The Delivery Man - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:38)
  7. 7 Monkey to Man - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:28)
  8. 8 Nothing Clings Like Ivy - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:17)
  9. 9 The Name of This Thing Is Not Love - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (2:50)
  10. 10 Heart Shaped Bruise - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (4:07)
  11. 11 Needle Time - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (5:05)
  12. 12 The Judgement - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (3:59)
  13. 13 The Scarlet Tide - Elvis Costello & the Imposters (2:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elvis Costello Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Electric Bass, Glockenspiel, Tambourine, Ukulele, Vocals, Wurlitzer, Fender Telecaster, Guitar (Tenor), Group Member
Emmylou Harris Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Lucinda Williams Vocals
Steve Nieve Organ, Piano, Accordion, Harmonium, Hammond Organ, Theremin, Melodica, Omnichord, Wurlitzer, Piano (Upright), Vox Continental, Group Member, Hammond B3
John McPhee Pedal Steel Guitar
Davey Faragher Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals, fender rhodes, Fender Jazz Bass, Group Member
Dennis Herring Guitar, Guest Appearance
Pete Thomas Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Elvis Costello Composer, Producer, Audio Production
T Bone Burnett Composer
Dennis Herring Producer, Audio Production
Cait O'Riordan Composer
Csaba Petocz Engineer
Jerry Ragovoy Composer
Doug Sax Mastering
Chris Shepard Engineer
Robert Hadley Mastering
Jimbo "Hambone" Mathus Engineer
Jesse Dylan Collage
Erik Asla Image Editing
Dawn Palladino Studio Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Step Back Is A Step Backwards

    Elvis Costello remains a great voice in modern music striking out in new directions and crafting music that will be long lived. However, in the present recording, billed as a step back into rock and roll, and, incorporating some of my favorite artists like Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, I keep asking myself 'why did he make this record'? There is so little here to get excited about and the quality of the singing, to my ear, is 2nd rate. This reminds me of a recording done for contractual purposes, not a work of art or love. For once, I'd like to see a realistic critique appear instead of the usual hype that magazines put out to keep the industry rolling along. Elvis, you can do a lot better than this. We deserve it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The work of a master

    For those who love Costello but have been dissapointed by the lack of a recent "great'' album, your wait is over. This one is a treasure. It's a roots album that is as urgent as a roadhouse gig but containing so much texture, it weaves deeper with each listening. And you can put this on the small list of current cds that don't need a "skip track'' click.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews