A very modern yet retro sounding record, Walk Us Uptown is the first funky single from the album Wise Up Ghost And Other Songs, a collaboration between Elvis Costello and the American hip-hop group The Roots.
Combining Elvis Costello’s articulately brilliant spilling and tumbling lyrics with the The Roots’ incessant and unrelenting hip-hop drum beat isn’t something that should work…but surprisingly it does!
While there is very little in the way of melody, Elvis’s rye, dry, grimly crisp rap is full of imagery and delivered in a biting yet deliciously flawed style that sounds as though it was pumped out of an old low-fi AM radio.
And despite Elvis tackling the lead vocals, The Roots have brought to the table a backing track oozing with a modern-edge and a urban American hip-hop/ska hybrid feel to it. The clash of Elvis Costello’s eccentric British rock and The Roots’ down to earth soulful music makes Walk Us Uptown an intriguing and almost creepy track to listen to.
You can see the simplistic video for Walk Us Uptown at the end of this post. You can also buy the single and preorder the album Wise Up Ghost And Other Songs from both iTunes and Elvis Costello’s official website.