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Soundbite

Our critics' picks in new releases

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Costello meditates on love and loss and redemption in his brooding, raspy, vibrato tenor as sweeps of strings, droning French horns, lonely saxophone solos, fluttering cymbals, brushed snare drums, and dense piano chords swell and fade. What's interesting is that as Costello's music grows increasingly lush, ornate and orchestral, the lyrics become more pared down. Gone is the twisted, punning Costello-ian wordplay; in its place are haiku-like ruminations. "All the leaves are turning yellow, red and brown / Soon they'll be scattered as they tumble down / Although they may be swept up so invitingly."

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