ALBUM REVIEW: Elvis Costello and the Roots, ‘Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs’

Elvis Costello (left) with Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
Elvis Costello (left) with Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Credit: Dan Hallman/Invision/AP

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There are many things for which to be thankful to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and this captivating new collaboration from the veteran singer-songwriter and the versatile late night house band is another for the list.

Following several appearances Costello and the hip-hop soul crew hit the studio and the chemistry is undeniable.

The musical sensibility—darkly funky, spectral harmony vocals, soulful swagger, jagged guitar, eruptive horn blares, fluid bass-- is more Roots and the lyrical one – verbose, sharply observed, personal and political—is more Costello. But there is plenty of commonality—especially in the darkness-- and the manner in which the artists bend toward each other in the songwriting and production evidences the mutual appreciation.

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