We have Jenny Lewis to thank for this album. It may not have happened without her.
before this release, Costello had been adamant that he would not be
releasing any new material, telling Word Magazine in an interview
published in March 2008 that something like 60 discs have come out with
his name on it, "let the blood soak into ground for a while."
month later, Momofuku - possibly Costello's most perplexing album title
ever- was released quietly, which is too bad because this album is
meant to be played loud!
Momofuku was recorded the
first months of 2008, following Costello's guest appearance during the
recording of Lewis' second and vastly under-rated album Acid Tongue.
album was cut quickly with the Imposters in the same studio as Acid Tongue and with some
of the same players. Jenny Lewis provides
backing vocals as well Johnathan Rice, "Farmer" Dave Scher. David
Hidalgo from Los Lobos joins on a couple of songs and Pete Thomas' daughter Tennessee also drums.
The spontaneous recording, the fantastic guests and an oddball title make this one of Costello's most enjoyable releases.
Hiding Place" kicks off a three-punch attack of perfect pop rock,
followed by "American Gangster Time" and "Turpentine" each featuring
Steve Nieve's trademark keyboards. The vocal supergroup and the
father-daughter drum team give "Turpentine" a searing, alien atmosphere.
"Harry Worth" tells the story of a couple whose
relationship keeps deteriorating with each Elvis Costello appearance in
their town. "Flutter &Wow" carries the opposite sentiment in a
soul-inflected love letter to his wife, Diana Krall.
Hurt" is a hard rocking number based on the story of a forgotten singer
from the '20s. "Mr. Feathers" follows with a cabaret tune about a
woman's encounter with a seedy figure from the past.
gets sentimental on "My Three Sons" singing about his recently born
twins and now adult son. The album closes with two alt-country songs and
a killer b-side.
"Go Away" is a classic throwaway
song. Steve Nieve plays a riff straight out of a ? And The Mysterians
song while Costello rants about spy movies, epics and screwball comedies
amid a joyful chorus featuring Lewis' great voice. It's a fitting
ending for an album truly recorded just for the fun of it.
Classics: "American Gangster Time," "Harry Worth," "Flutter & Wow," "Stella Hurt"
I'd like to hear live: "No Hiding Place," Turpentine," "Harry Worth,"
"Stella Hurt," "Mr. Feathers," "Pardon Me Madam, My Name Is Eve".