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National Ransom

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 2 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B003ZDZ1XK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #52,454 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. National Ransom
2. Jimmie Standing In The Rain
3. Stations Of The Cross
4. A Slow Drag With Josephine
5. Five Small Words
6. Church Underground
7. You Hung The Moon
8. Bullets For The New-Born King
9. I Lost You
10. Dr. Watson, I Presume
11. One Bell Ringing
12. The Spell That You Cast
13. That's Not The Part Of Him You're Leaving
14. My Lovely Jezebel
15. All These Strangers
16. A Voice In The Dark

Product Description

2010 album from the veteran British singer/songwriter. National Ransom was recorded in a total of eleven days at Sound Emporium, Nashville and Village Recorders, Los Angeles and was produced by T Bone Burnett and engineered and mixed by Michael Piersante at Electromagetic, Los Angeles. All of these songs are newly composed by Costello with the exception of "I Lost You," co-written with Jim Lauderdale and "All These Strangers," for which Costello and T Bone Burnett collaborated on the lyrics. Costello and Burnett also provide the lyrics for "My Lovely Jezebel," a Leon Russell Rock 'n' Roll tune . All members of the Imposters and Sugarcanes appear on the album along with guests Vince Gill, Marc Ribot, Buddy Miller and Leon Russell.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Costello has been ariound the block a few times now. Loved his last album - a return to some earlier styles - especially the song "Delivery Man" - but this one is very uneven. Some really strong songs - but sadly mixed in with some sentimental dross that leaves you unmoved, overall. Best to trim this album down and get rid of the bad songs - that way you can enjoy the interesting ones without dreading the stinkers
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis hits the mark on this one Nov. 2 2010
By Kil Roi - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"National Ransom," the latest release from Elvis Costello, is musically tasteful and lyrically sophisticated. In short, Elvis really assembled this one well.

A Whitman's Sampler of styles, "National Ransom" takes the listener on a sonic trip: edgy rock, New Orleans jazz, acoustic jazz, country, ballads, blues ... even a detour back to the "Attractions" days. Yes, for all you longtime Elvis fans, "Alison" could be slipped onto this disc and would blend in.

But it doesn't stop there. From the country churns ("That's Not the Part of Him You're Leaving" and "I Lost You") to the Victrola waltzes ala Leon Redbone ("You Hung the Moon") Elvis' voice hasn't sounded better.

Like acoustic guitar? "A Slow Drag With Josephine" is spot on, complete with mandolins and whistling -- echoes of Ry Cooder.

"Jimmie Standing in the Rain" -- a melancholy night in the French Quarter.

"Bullets For the New-Born King" -- Which is more poetic? The lyrics or the silky acoustic guitar. You decide.

"National Ransom" is a monster step up from Elvis' previous album, "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane," which housed a lot of mediocre and forgettable tunes.

Meandering cleverly through the various genres, "National Ransom" is Elvis at what is perhaps his creative peak.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not a fan of "Best Of's" but June 2 2016
By rpb54 - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's Elvis Costello so of course it's GREAT
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first votes Nov. 2 2010
By Ryan A. - Published on
Verified Purchase
My first votes on this auspicious election day are to buy *Toy Story 3* and this album.

Impressive! And another disquieting reminder that the Brits do Americana at least as well as we Yanks do.

Elvis Costello has been hanging out with all the right people, including Allen Toussaint, T Bone Burnett, and Leon Russell, and he's aging as gracefully as Emmylou Harris -- and there's no higher praise. She might decide to cover one of these songs. Now, how about those two collaborating?
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barnburning, compelling, tuneful...Elvis at the Top of his creative prowess! Nov. 2 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Elvis Costello has a lot of different sides, a lot of different interests. When a new release comes out, you gotta wonder what you are going to get--will it be straight ahead rockers with a dash of humor? Will it be sophistipop with elaborate arrangements ala Burt Bacharach? Will he collaborate with a string quartet on one of the most ambitious albums by a rock musician ever? Will he re-interpret classic pop tunes with an opera Diva? Will he give us smoky jazz? I love all the possibilities, and bought this sound unheard. I have to say, wow, it is all and none of those things, and it is great!

Elvis digs deep into all of his past work--his lyrics are sophisticated, humorous, touching. He shines on his melodies--catchy yet not obvious. INstrumentation is tight, and it feels like he has lived these songs for a while. Instrumentation is straightforward, but feels very full and well orchestrated.

As I listened to the album, I could feel some influence from the southern US--pickers, some jazzy chord changes, even a little dixie jazz feel in places.

Listen, if you like Elvis Costello, if you are one of the faithful who has stuck by him in all his many incarnations, then this is a no-brainer. Buy it now. If you are a relapsed fan, this is a great place to jump back in--the album is approachable, beautiful, fun, and artistically impressive. If you've never listened to Elvis Costello before, you've got a great set of treats to pick up. You're going to want to pick up some of his older albums as well, but this is a fantastic into to the quirky, fascinating, multigenre spanning talent of Elvis.

Get it. I can't wait to buy another copy to give away!
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars National treasure Nov. 2 2010
By Nse Ette - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Elvis Costello's new CD "National Ransom" is produced by T-Bone Burnet and sees him traipsing through Blues, Rock, Jazz and even Country. Backed by his regular touring band The Imposters, as well as a few guests like Vince Gill and Leon Russell. The rocking Blues title track opens the album, followed by the Ragtime "Jimmie Standing In The Rain" which tells the story of a failed music-hall singer getting drenched in the rain at a Lancashire train station.

Each of the album's 16 tracks is special so I'll just pick on a few to highlight. The woozy enthralling "Stations Of The Cross", "A Slow Drag With Josephine" is acoustic Folk, "Five Small Words" is bouncy Country with quivering guitars, "Church Underground" is Bluesy Pop (with snarling vocals and guitars), the slow shuffling Jazzy "You Hung The Moon", the Folk/Blues "Dr. Watson, I Presume", the acoustic "One Bell Ringing", and the vaudeville "A Voice In The Dark".

"National Ransom" is like a well stocked jukebox which ticks all the right boxes.

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