Unfaithful Music

Elvis Costello

(CD - UMe / Universal #4752369)

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Do not take the "Soundtrack" portion to the title of Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album lightly. This companion album to Elvis Costello's 2015 memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is indeed a soundtrack, its 38 songs all playing pivotal parts in his nearly 700-page book and the sequencing mirroring the non-chronological flow of the autobiography, a book where Costello takes pains to draw connections between people, places, and scraps in notebooks. Costello doesn't dwell on specific scandals or hits in Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, nor does he treat its soundtrack as an opportunity to march through the hits once again. Certainly, there are hits here -- "Alison," "Watching the Detectives," "Oliver's Army," all present in their studio versions, while "Accidents Will Happen" is represented by a live version and "Veronica" a demo -- but just as many are missing, including anything from This Year's Model and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," a Nick Lowe song many listeners assume belongs to Elvis. In their place are deep cuts and duets, an unreleased demo from 1975, an unheard collaboration with Rosanne Cash and Kris Kristofferson, B-sides, and one-offs -- a collection of songs that certainly suggest Costello's breadth but also are unified in their musical ambition, lyricism, and, if the tome is to be trusted, confession. So, Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album winds up being as much an autobiography as its printed companion: it is not the place to turn if you're looking for hits or even certain sounds, but rather a sense of what kind of musician Elvis Costello believes himself to be.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Elvis Costello feat: Steve Nieve 03:27 SpotifyAmazon
2 Elvis Costello 01:54 SpotifyAmazon
3 Elvis Costello 03:45 SpotifyAmazon
4 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 02:59 SpotifyAmazon
5 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 03:35 SpotifyAmazon
6 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 03:46 SpotifyAmazon
7 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 05:27 SpotifyAmazon
8 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 06:41 SpotifyAmazon
9 Elvis Costello 07:07 SpotifyAmazon
10 Elvis Costello 03:38 SpotifyAmazon
11 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 02:34 SpotifyAmazon
12 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 03:13 SpotifyAmazon
13 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & The Confederates / The Costello Show 04:10 SpotifyAmazon
14 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 04:54 SpotifyAmazon
15 Elvis Costello feat: The Roots 05:01 SpotifyAmazon
16 Elvis Costello feat: The Attractions / Elvis Costello & the Imposters 04:49 SpotifyAmazon
17 Elvis Costello 04:04 SpotifyAmazon
18 Elvis Costello feat: Allen Toussaint 02:58 SpotifyAmazon
19 Elvis Costello feat: The Sugar Canes 05:41 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Elvis Costello 02:59 SpotifyAmazon
2 Elvis Costello 04:17 SpotifyAmazon
3 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 03:14 SpotifyAmazon
4 Elvis Costello 06:21 SpotifyAmazon
5 Elvis Costello 03:56 SpotifyAmazon
6 Elvis Costello 04:24 SpotifyAmazon
7 Elvis Costello 03:07 SpotifyAmazon
8 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & The Confederates / The Costello Show 04:06 SpotifyAmazon
9 Elvis Costello feat: The Sugar Canes 04:15 SpotifyAmazon
10 Elvis Costello feat: The Brodsky Quartet 04:24 SpotifyAmazon
11 Elvis Costello feat: The Roots 06:27 SpotifyAmazon
12 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Attractions / The Attractions 02:51 SpotifyAmazon
13 Elvis Costello 03:51 SpotifyAmazon
14 Elvis Costello 03:47 SpotifyAmazon
15 Elvis Costello 03:24 SpotifyAmazon
16 Elvis Costello feat: Elvis Costello & the Imposters / The Imposters 03:05 SpotifyAmazon
17 Elvis Costello 02:34 SpotifyAmazon
18 Elvis Costello feat: Rosanne Cash / Kris Kristofferson 04:31 SpotifyAmazon
19 Elvis Costello feat: D.P. Costello 03:41 SpotifyAmazon
20
Elvis Costello 04:21 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick