Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink

Cover for Elvis Costello’s “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink”

In case you hadn’t heard, Elvis Costello’s mammoth ~670-page memoir “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink” is out now in every format that books are sold in, basically. Reviews are also out from The Guardian, The A.V. Club and The New York Times, who wrote:

Most rock autobiographies seem tossed off and phoned in: tour souvenirs. Not this one. ‘Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink’ feels as if it were written during a six-year residency at Yaddo and driven to his publisher on the back of a flatbed truck.

The consensus seems to be that it’s sprawling but idiosyncratic, exhaustive but cagey, intricate but rewarding. I’m a third of the way through it and all of that sounds about right. It also sounds exactly like the man’s work; there are few songwriters as simultaneously accessible and challenging as Costello is, and it feels right that his autobiography would reflect that nature. It’s what’s made him one of the most important pop musicians of the past several decades. You can have “Life” and “Just Kids”—I’ll take “Unfaithful Music.”