Secret, Profane & Sugarcane is the 2009 studio album by Elvis Costello. It was recorded in Nashville with American songwriter and producer T Bone Burnett, and released on June 9 2009. The album features bluegrass, Americana and country music along with Costello's familiar garrulous lyrics. Secret, Profane & Sugarcane entered the UK album charts at number 71, where it spent one week before dropping out of the top 100. It was far more successful in the US, when it charted at number 13 on the Billboard 200.
Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach first collaborated on "God Give Me Strength," a sweeping ballad that functioned as the centerpiece in Allison Anders' Grace of My Heart. It was a stunning song in the tradition of Bacharach's classic '60s work and it was successful enough that the composers decided to collaborate on a full album, Painted from Memory. Wisely, they chose to work within the stylistic parameters of Bacharach's '60s material, but Painted from Memory never sounds like a stylistic exercise. Instead, it's a return to form for both artists. Bacharach hasn't written such graceful, powerful melodies since his glory days, and Costello hasn't crafted such a fully realized album since King of America. It's a testament to both that even if the album is clearly in Bacharach's territory, it feels like a genuine collaboration.
For the Stars is the kind of record rock critics tend to instinctively praise because they just aren't sure if they get it, and they're afraid to lay themselves on the line. If they pan it, well, they're just junk-addled boors. If they praise it, they risk seeming uninformed, since they don't really know if it works as a classical work or not. The thing to remember is, that these kind of rock/classical crossovers belong to neither realm.
For those keeping score, Universal's 2008 Deluxe Edition of This Year's Model is the third expanded reissue of Elvis Costello's classic 1978 album. Like its 2002 predecessor from Rhino, Universal's expanded edition is a double-disc set, sharing many, but not all, of the same bonus material from that previously released package. Rhino shuffled off all the bonus tracks to a separate second disc running 12 tracks, whereas Universal adds ten tracks to the 13-track album on the first disc, then presents a full concert – recorded on February 28, 1978, at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. – on the second disc…