In the annals of rock legacies, there are few artists who have less to worry about than Elvis Costello. Having begun his career with a decade’s worth of near-flawless records at a rate of one a year (we can forgive him a misfire or two in there), the singer has spent the better part of his later career restlessly tossing and turning between projects. And while such games of perpetual musical chairs have no doubt left many fans lamenting the old days, they make his occasional returns to the fold all the more exciting.
Momofuku is a clear and largely successful attempt to strip away the pretensions that have the habit of building up over the years, while avoiding the ever present tendency to over-think the details. Immediacy may not be an old man’s game, but Costello, surrounded by a cast of indie rock elites and backed most thankfully by a warm Acetone organ that recalls those glorious days of This Year’s Model, certainly sounds like he’s having a ball and it translates into a fun and happily imperfect record.