Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Momofuku by Elvis Costello & The Imposters, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

Originally Momofuku was going to be released only on vinyl and digital download, an expression of Elvis Costello's frustration with the State of the Record Industry in 2008, but those plans soon changed, turning the album into a standard release yet not removing a sense of confusion surrounding its sudden appearance, as it arrived just after Costello publicly swore off ever recording again (or performing in the U.K., but that's another matter for another time). The very title of the record was a source of mystery, as it was suggested that it could perhaps be named after David Chang's string of N.Y.C. restaurants, but Costello clarified the situation by explaining that he and Chang shared a similar love of Momofuku Ando, the man who invented cup noodles. Such squawking over foodie arcana leaves little question that Momofuku the album exists where the air is rarefied but, as always with Elvis, words have meaning — as this record sprang to life in an instant, just like a bowl of ramen noodles. Invited to sing on Jenny Lewis' follow-up to Rabbit Fur Coat, an album he praised publicly, Costello arrived in a studio where half of his Imposters were already working on the record — along with Tennessee Thomas, the daughter of longtime Costello drummer Pete, and Lewis' boyfriend Johnathan Rice — and before long a couple of new Elvis originals were cut alongside the planned songs for Jenny, and that snowballed into the quickly written, quickly recorded, quickly released Momofuku.

That quicksilver speed is the key to Momofuku, and what separates it from all the albums Elvis Costello has cut in the decade since he signed with Universal. Almost every record from 1998's Painted from Memory on has had a conceptual thrust — even 2002's When I Was Cruel was designed as a back-to-basics record — but not this. It's merely a collection of 12 songs, all bashed out in a matter of weeks, not an album that's been labored over for months. Ironically enough, that rush of creative energy gives Momofuku a unified feel so it holds together as well, if not better, than such recent records as When I Was Cruel, which felt too deliberate in its classicism, or The Delivery Man, which was only wanting for the kinetic energy that this has in spades. That dynamic energy is down entirely to the speed of conception, how the record was cut in a short enough span so that Lewis, Rice, and Dave Scher (of Beachwood Sparks and All Night Radio) could lend harmonies throughout the record, lending a grace to the clattering "Turpentine." As the only female here, Lewis naturally stands out from the pack, but she's also given the opportunity to stand toe to toe with Costello, such as on the superb closer, "Go Away," as simple and addictive a song as he's written in years. Much of Momofuku is indeed this direct, at least in its construction — applying equally to the old-fashioned ballad "Flutter & Wow" as it does to such lean rockers as "American Gangster Time" — but the lyrics are as expertly crafted and wryly sophisticated as any latter-day Costello record. This sophistication can creep into the music as well, as the loungey puns of "Harry Worth," the clenched, dense rhythms of "Stella Hurt," and the cabaret shuffle of "Mr. Feathers" all recall a Spike recorded sans accoutrements. Again, that's where the speed of this whole enterprise works in its favor, as it makes these digressions seem funny, not fussy, and that's ultimately the charm of Momofuku: it captures a loose, natural Elvis Costello, somebody who hasn't been captured on record in years. It's still a Costello who plugs Lexus, writes operas, and plays jazz festivals, but here he's not trying to prove anything; he's just making music, and that's why it's one of his most enjoyable latter-day records.


Born: 25 August 1954 in Paddington, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Elvis Costello's first record was released in 1977, his bristling cynicism and anger linked him with the punk and new wave explosion. A cursory listen to My Aim Is True proves that the main connection that Costello had with the punks was his unbridled passion; he tore through rock's back pages taking whatever he wanted, as well as borrowing from country, Tin Pan Alley pop, reggae, and many other musical genres. Over his career, that musical eclecticism distinguished his records as much as his...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Elvis Costello