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The Boston Globe



Elvis Costello and the Roots, ‘Wise Up Ghost and Other Songs’

There are many things to thank “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” for, and this captivating collaboration from veteran singer-songwriter Elvis Costello and versatile “Fallon’’ house band the Roots is another for the list. Following several appearances on the show, Costello and the hip-hop soul crew hit the studio and the chemistry is undeniable.

The musical sensibility — darkly funky, spectral harmony vocals, soulful swagger, jagged guitar, eruptive horn blares, fluid bass — is more Roots; the lyrical sensibility — verbose, sharply observed, personal, and political — is more Costello. But there is plenty of commonality — especially in the darkness — and the manner in which the artists bend toward each other in the songwriting and production testifies to the mutual appreciation.

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