By Rob Duguay
It's not everyday when two incredible musical forces of different styles come together to make a spectacular album, but when it happens it's surely something special. Rock & roll virtuoso Elvis Costello and quintessential hip-hop band The Roots have an album out today titled Wise Up Ghost, and it's a great fusion of groovy street beats and Costello's velvety r&b tinged voice that creates a purely amazing sound. So many dimensions come into play, you never really know what to expect with each track but that's what makes Wise Up Ghost even more enjoyable. When it comes to quality and perfection, Wise Up Ghost has a shot to be one of the top albums of 2013 and rightfully so. When the likes of Elvis Costello and The Roots get together, would you expect anything less?
Reportedly the recording sessions for Wise Up Ghost took place in udder secrecy in the dead of night, you can't really blame anybody involved for not wanting to prematurely letting the word get out because it would be like letting everyone know that The Holy Grail is hidden underneath your mattress. Wise Up Ghost is that good, you gotta love the jazz influence around the edges of each track. The album definitely makes you feel like you can sit in a dark lit club with a cigar and a glass of whiskey, sitting back and relaxing while the tunes take over. There's also that tone giving you the thought of Wise Up Ghost being the soundtrack for walking around the city on a foggy night, a noir aesthetic resonates through the album almost giving you an array of mental visuals. Wise Up Ghost is a groundbreaking piece of music that promises to provide a new take on music rarely heard before.
The leaves are changing, live shows are booming and there's a twerking 20 year old girl making a music video while being naked on a wrecking ball. Yep, it's the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall in 2013 so sneak in those bonfires and start drinking pumpkin flavored everything to get in the mood. One thing that will always get you in the mood regardless of the season are my top tracks off of my Album Of The Week. It's never easy but somebody's gotta do it, so here goes something:
"Come The Meantimes" has a trip-hop thing going on with ?uestlove holding it down on the drums and the rest of The Roots putting you in electric ecstasy. "Refuse To Be Saved" features Costello doing his best work as an MC, he has some sexy rhymes that could very well be the first hip-hop song he's ever rapped on. "Viceroy's Row" is the most jazzy track off of the album, there seems to be a sample from Miles Davis' Sketches Of Spain but I can't put my finger on the actual number it's from. "Walk Us Uptown" grooves and moves with the combination of the drums and keys from The Roots, there's no question why it's the first single off of Wise Up Ghost. Despite me only naming a few, you should know that every track off of the new album from Elvis Costello & The Roots is pristine.
Elvis Costello will be performing several shows around New England in November which include The Calvin Theatre in Northampton, MA on November 3rd, The Shubert Theater in New Haven, CT on November 8th, The Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA on November 17th and the following night at The State Theatre in Portland, ME. As always, you can catch The Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon weeknights on NBC. Until Elvis or The Roots roll through your neighborhood, you gotta get their new album. It'll give your ears exactly what they need and more.