Q&A with Elvis Costello

Elder rocker Elvis Costello's new album of ballads, North, arrives in stores Sept. 23.

This album is very quiet. You're croonin'. What's got into you?

That's the way the songs came out. It would have lost a lot in the feeling of the songs if I raised my voice. It's about starting out in a more desolate place and going to a more optimistic place. That's what I was feeling, and so that's what I wrote.

Why did you call the album North?

You know the expression "That's gone south"? What's the opposite of that?

So life is...

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