Photo credit : James Omara

EC fans received a bit of a scare after the singer-songwriter cancelled a clutch of live dates due to ill health. But news of his recovery and the release of Look Now – one of Costello’s best albums of recent times – must have cheered diehard followers!

Simply put, Look Now is a return to form for Costello hearkening back to the sophisticated pop stylings of the classic Imperial Bedroom and the revered collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted From Memory.

In the last decade, Costello has released two roots rock albums and a collaboration with The Roots, which though strong were not quite vintage Costello.

Look Now also reunites Costello with The Imposters in the studio since 2008’s Momofuku, and the benefits are clearly obvious throughout.

Probably some of the highlights here include co-writes with Bacharach (“Don’t Look Now” & “Photographs Don’t Lie”) and Carole King (“Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter”) – all torch ballads of the highest quality.

Elsewhere slightly upbeat numbers “Under Lime”, “I Let the Sun Go Down” and “Mr and Mrs Hush” will thrill fans for recalling Costello’s 80s peak.

So much to savour on Look Now that it certainly helps true blue music lovers to forget what a bad state the contemporary music industry is in. At least for the length of this instant classic.

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