Elvis Costello pays brilliant homage to himself on Hey Clockface

Elvis Costello's aim is still true on 25th solo album Hey Clockface

Elvis Costello: Hey Clockface
(Image: © Concord Records)

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Some 50 years into his career, Elvis Costello is now a kind of pub-rock David Bowie, with enough changes of style and direction to satisfy the most fidgety chameleon. 

Now he releases an album that pays homage to all his directions, new and old, in a way that’s only intentionally jarring. 

There are crooned piano ballads like the gorgeous Byline, vignettes like Whirlwind and They’re Not Laughing At Me Now, splenetic Blood And Chocolate noise blarts like the splendid No Flag, and spoken-words bits like Revolution #49.

If all of this sounds like disassociated chaos, it’s not (except when it is). The 14 tracks add up to a brilliant work full of confidence and ideas, all laid out on a massive canvas of invention and variety.

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.