Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

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Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

Release date: 06/02/2009

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Track Listings

Disc 1 (of 2)

1. Down Among the Wines and Spirits
2. Down Among the Wines and Spirits
3. Complicated Shadows
4. Complicated Shadows
5. I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came
6. I Felt the Chill
7. My All Time Doll
8. My All Time Doll
9. Hidden Shame
10. Hidden Shame
11. She Handed Me a Mirror
12. She Handed Me a Mirror
13. I Dreamed of My Old Lover

Disc 2 (of 2)

1. I Dreamed of My Old Lover
2. How Deep is the Red
3. How Deep Is the Red?
4. She Was No Good
5. She Was No Good
6. Sulphur To Sugarcane
7. Sulphur to Sugarcane
8. Red Cotton
9. Red Cotton
10. Crooked Line
11. Crooked Line
12. Changing Partners
13. Changing Partners

About the Album

Elvis Costello has spent the back half of his career flitting from style to style, recording everything from opera to R&B, but he avoided the country-folk of 1986's King of America until 2009, when he teamed up with America producer (and fellow Coward Brother) T Bone Burnett for Secret, Profane & Sugarcane. By its very definition, country-folk seems straightforward, but the only thing simple about Secret is the speed of its recording. Costello and Burnett assembled an all-star acoustic string band -- featuring Jerry Douglas on Dobro, Dennis Crouch on bass, Stuart Duncan on fiddle and banjo, and Jim Lauderdale on vocal harmonies -- and cut the album in just three days, its swiftness similar to its knocked-out predecessor Momofuku. Secret, Profane & Sugarcane often bears its quick conception fetchingly, feeling loose-limbed and intimate, a record made simply because it's fun to play, a sentiment that can't quite be said of its songs. Surely, there are times where the humor is as riotous as those old Coward Brothers singles -- Costello and Burnett have a ball on the bawdy travelogue "Sulphur to Sugarcane" and sweetly harmonize with Emmylou Harris on "The Crooked Line" -- but Secret is frequently fussy, particularly on the songs Costello has carried over from his unfinished Hans Christian Andersen opera. The very presence of these songs ("How Deep Is the Red?," "She Was No Good," "She Handed Me a Mirror," "Red Cotton") suggests just how muddled Secret, Profane & Sugarcane is conceptually: it bounces all over the place, threading these stagebound tunes between a collaboration with Loretta Lynn and his take on "Down Among the Wine and Spirits," which he originally wrote for Ms. Loretta, a rollicking leftover from The Delivery Man ("Hidden Shame"), a cover of Bing Crosby's "Changing Partners," the Burnett co-writes, a few new songs, and a reworking of Elvis' old "Complicated Shadows." Despite the occasional stuffiness, there's a lot of good material here and it's all executed well, but it's hard not to shake the feeling that this is a collection of leftovers masquerading as a main course. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
Artist: Elvis Costello
Studio Label: CD
Edited: No
Format: CD
Enhanced: No
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date:
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.12
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 0.21 x 4.25 x 5.25
UPC: 0088807231280

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Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
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