Singer/songwriter Elvis Costello long ago decided to keep from repeating himself. His career has taken many turns, ups and downs, changes of direction, different musical partners, and incorporated changing influences.
On his 2020 release, Hey Clockface, he returns with an eclectic collection of musical styles and ideas. I sampled reviews from critics about this album and they vary greatly about this ambitious project.
An Elvis Costello release is no longer a big deal in the corporate music world. There will not be hit singles or millions of units sold, those days are in the past. Elvis produces “thinking man’s” music, which although he always did, is now a dish that intrigues the palette as much as it instantly gratifies.
Hey Clockface, Elvis’ 31st album release, is a mixed bag; certainly a stylistically-mixed group of songs running the gamut from Irving Berlin pop to rap to hipster rock to old-time jazz to breathy ballads to spoken word songs. Such a variety can be a challenge, not only are some of these unexpected, you have to give them an honest try. I respect the journey through the many genres, but a few are not my cup of tea. That’s okay, there is enough here to like. Hey Clockface is a musical buffet, sample everything, take what you enjoy.