CD Of The Month

WXPN Radio

The premier guide for new and significant artists in rock, blues, and folk - including NPR-syndicated World Cafe ®

XPoNential Radio

24/7 Musical discovery. A unique mix of emerging and heritage blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country artists.

World Cafe Archives

Join David Dye as he navigates the World Cafe through live performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.

Folk Radio

Folk music radio streaming on the web; Americana, Roots Music, recordings, and stories from folk's best.
Listen Live

Elvis Costello and the Roots - Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs

Depending on how you look at this, the paths of Elvis Costello and The Roots represent a much more natural crossing that it seems.
The 'How' is answered rather simply. We can thank The Jimmy Fallon Show for putting them both in the same room (and on the same stage). But why they took it one step further to produce one of the year's most intriguing albums really lies within the musical character of both acts. For The Roots, collaboration has always been a constant. And their versatility to play alongside any and all musical ensembles is the reason they're the one of the most sought after live acts. For Costello, much the same. He's never been shy of a musical challenge and since the late 70s has tried his hand at just about all styles. So does their collective desire for musical exploration lend itself to a fruitful collaboration on Wise Up Ghost? It sure does.

As cliché as it sounds, the music really speaks for itself on Wise Up Ghost. In terms of Costello, he's the main voice on the album with The Roots laying down the foundation and coloring in the sonic landscape. ?uestlove and the band lead us into soulful, funky territory on songs like "Refuse to To Saved" and the seductive "Wake Me Up". Costello sounds reinvigorated on the collection. It's a definitive and welcomed departure from the country and folk inspired albums (Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, National Ransom) that preceded this. With songs like "Walk Us Uptown" and "Come the Meantimes", Costello confidently steps right back into a contemporary world (even if The Roots are drawing from classic soul).

Unlike so many collaborative records, Wise Up Ghost is truly as interesting as the headlines read. And not only does the music offer the best of what both parties are capable of, but it's a direction, for Costello at least, that many have been craving for.

Review By Mike Vasilikos

Your Amazon Purchases Support WXPN

Forget trying to classify them and just listen: Railroad Earth’s Session, and “Katie Cruel’s” importance in music, tonight on...

For the last handful of weeks on Folkadelphia Radio, we’ve been focusing on a featured song, digging a little into its history,...Read More

The ever-evolving Kite Party will celebrate their new record on May 8 at PhilaMOCA

On May 6, Kite Party will unveil their second full-length album, Come on Wondering. On May 8, they’ll celebrate with a record...Read More

Singer-songwriter Abi Reimold celebrates her EP release this Saturday at Hong Kong Garden

Philly-based songstress Abi Reimold – also a photographer and occasional contributor to The Key – will celebrate the...Read More

DRGN King, Family Vacation, Big Tusk, Ghost Gum and more scheduled to play show on Record Store Day at Vinyl Revival...

If you were already having a hard time planning out how you were going to celebrate Record Store Day on April 19, things just got a...Read More

Redbull’s Sound Select pairs Philly artists Embarker and Chris Forsyth with Oneohtrix Point Never

Redbull’s Sound Select monthly feature, showcases local artists across the country is bringing some additional recognition to...Read More