National Ransom Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

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  • Summary: Costello's second album with producer T-Bone Burnett is both reminiscent of his earlier work and experimental in sound, with a foray into finger-picking country and eclectic folk-rock tunes.
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Top Track

A Slow Drag with Josephine
The snitch, the snoop, the tattletale lead a threadbare up the stairs Adieu, my little ballyhoo, you broke my heart in two And now I haunt the bars... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Nov 5, 2010
    The album winds up with trace echoes of all eras of Costello, but that's only a reflection of how National Ransom is a masterwork in the traditional sense: he's summoned all his skills to deliver an album that summarizes his world view.
  2. Nov 2, 2010
    There's never been an Elvis Costello album like National Ransom, even though nothing about the record is especially new.
  3. Nov 11, 2010
    You'd be hard pressed to find an album as varied as Elvis Costello's National Ransom (his 26th, give or take).
  4. Nov 17, 2010
    It's a lot to take in, but his aim is true as always.
  5. Oct 29, 2010
    National Ransom isn't the midlife masterpiece that obsessives have been pining for, but its finer points are worth seeking out, in all their sepia-tinted glory.
  6. Nov 1, 2010
    At 16 songs, the album can feel disorienting, but it's further proof that for an Englishman, Costello has become an improbable - and invaluable - ambassador of America's overlooked musical past.
  7. Q Magazine
    Nov 4, 2010
    Recorded in 11 days in Nashville and LA, National Ransom sees Costello continuing his obsession with bluegrass and Americana, under the watchful eye of producer T-Bone Burnett. [Dec. 2010, p. 104]

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 6, 2010
    Nice album from Elvis Costello, recorded in 11 days between L.A and Nashville with T Bone Burnett. Mostly of the songs have been playedNice album from Elvis Costello, recorded in 11 days between L.A and Nashville with T Bone Burnett. Mostly of the songs have been played already on concerts (4 are new) , but for me still a "must have" this album. my favourite song is " five small words". It is hard to say, which genre the album goes, but like Elvis said to Music Critic 'National Ransom' Is Not a Bluegrass Record! enjoy. Expand