Conversations from the World Cafe

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 - XPN CD of the Month

October 2013 CD of the Month
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

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Loop at Kung Fu Necktie, The Revivalists at World Cafe Live, The Behn Gillece Quartet at Underground...

Before there was Pure Phase, before there was Screamadelica, there was Loop. The short-lived UK four-piece blended nervy electronic...Read More

Download “Nathaniel,” a folk-rock electronic song by Everything But The Girl’s Ben Watt

Mostly known for his two decade career with his wife Tracey Thorn in Everything But The Girl, Ben Watt stepped into a career as a DJ...Read More

Revisit Band of Horses’ acoustic show at The Merriam; get amped for their plugged-in show at...

Back in February, XPoNential Music Festival headliners Band of Horses went unplugged on the stage of the Merriam Theater, which was...Read More

Daniel Rossen mixes new and old in rare solo show at Underground Arts

Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Rossen played a solo, seated show at Underground Arts on Monday. Best known for his...Read More

Goodnight Lights throw a house party for four in their “Convinced” video

It’s like the crash after a long night of throwing back Lagers and oily pepperoni pizza and wondering where the rest of your...Read More