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. 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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