I am as big a fan as anyone of the “imperial phase” (Imperial Bedroom phase if you will). But like many others I feel i have remained loyal way beyond the boundaries of common sense. (Juliet Letters, the Orchestral stuff etc.)
So, much to my own surprise last night I was looking for something to listen to and put on North. By way of context, it was late, I had a half decent single malt for company and was in a slightly maudlin mood for reasons that don’t really enhance the context – sick friends, missing lost loved ones etc.
Its actually pretty good. Its a mood piece and I hadn’t listened to it for a good ten years (regrettably i listened to some of his other recent work during those ten years and remain firmly unconvinced by swathes of it).
With hindsight whilst it lacks the immediacy of his pomp, its a thoughtful and obviously well crafted piece of work and whilst it wont make my top 5 Costello albums its much better than i gave it credit for at the time and i wish i’d listened to it a few more time sin the intervening period.
Tonight i will be scanning the cd shelves to look for other late works by people I really like in the hope of a similar discovery.