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'Sugar Won’t Work', By Elvis Costello And The Roots, Starbucks' Song Of The Week

Elvis and Questlove

Will a song like ‘Sugar Won’t Work’ make me want to listen to the whole ‘Wise Up Ghost’ album? Probably not! It’s not that the song is bad or lacks hook, it just doesn’t have this strong-enough appeal to convince me. There is a nice and rather badass groove and slow good-paced tempo, there is this typical Elvis Costello crooning part, there are soulful back up vocals and wobbling keys, but it is not going far enough, it’s nothing that I haven’t heard before, and at the end the song sounds a bit old-fashioned without being outdated. So as good as the song is, it’s not super good, and not good enough to make me eager for more. But I have never been an Elvis Costello super fan! I know it’s shocking because he is someone that everyone looooves and venerates like, let’s say Dylan, but for me Costello has stopped being exciting a long time ago… Bret Easton Ellis has named his books after him, his music is used in the soundtrack of cool movies such as ‘High Fidelity’, ‘The Big Lewonski’,  and ‘200 Cigarettes’, he had cool songs, he had style and is an honored-awarded songwriter, but I saw him live once and I didn’t leave this concert transformed as I should have been. What does it mean about me?

So now he has teamed up with hip hop/neo-soul band called the Roots for this new album ‘Wise Up ghost’ and I just wonder, does he make him a better candidate for all these late talk shows? May be, after all he approached The Roots’ Questlove when he was the musical guest in the Jimmy Fallon show. The collaboration is one of these why-not/why one, which makes me wonder, should we have expected him to rap on this one? No, no! Elvis has said that the last thing he wants from people is to think it is ‘his rap album’. Good, because this song sounds nothing like rap. Honestly it sounds like Costello, some inessential Costello, selling his face at your local Starbucks. Because this is where I have actually found the song, ‘Sugar won’t work’ is the song of the week at Starbucks. Not a very punk place to end up but has Costello ever been considered as punk?

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