There is a review of Elvis Costello's new ablum in the Washington Post here. The writer, Shannon Zimmerman seems to be annoyed that he has to review it for some reason. He really lost me with this:
Costello, after all, was the closest the punk era ever came to producing a Bob Dylan, a genuine rock poet who, at his best, was capable of conjuring and dismissing Winston Churchill, apartheid and the National Front in one single, improbably well-turned phrase. His other patented specialty involved setting those phrases to melodies that Abba -- not to mention the Buzzcocks -- would've positively drooled for.
With a pedigree like that, connect-the-dots pop just doesn't get it done. And that goes double for ill-advised forays into Bacharachian la-la land and winsome collaborations with Paul McCartney. Suffice it to say that while Elvis Costello in his prime used to be disgusted, for most of the last two decades he's mostly just seemed confused.
First of all, he was drooling over Abba's melodies, not the other way around. Second, his condemnation of Costello's collaborations with Bacharach and McCartney strikes me as standard thought-free overt criticism. And to say that Elvis Costello is somehow confused is just silly. He has always known exactly what he was doing.
Update: Apparently, Shannon Zimmerman is a man, not a woman as I originally thought. See what happens when you fire your fact checkers?