Style: American roots music, including country, string-band, pop, early rock and R&B

Top tracks: "A Voice in the Dark," "Dr. Watson, I Presume," "You Hung the Moon"

Elvis Costello went out of the pub and into the honky-tonk way back in 1981 with an album of country & western covers called Almost Blue, and he's been chasing down the elusive spirit of Americana ever since. National Ransom might be his most seamless synthesis of Yankee myth and music yet; working with producer T-Bone Burnett and guests including Buddy Miller and Vince Gill, Costello travels back in time via country, bluegrass, R&B, and pop as it may have sounded in a 1930s parlor or a 1940s nightclub. The title cut is roaring rock for "the bankrupt times," but the album-closing "A Voice in the Dark" ends on a prophetic note of hope.

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National Ransom
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
November 1, 2010
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