These are my records: Taking Liberties 

Elvis Costello: “Taking Liberties”

Like most collections of rarities, B-sides and previously unreleased tracks, there are a lot of great songs on this album (which crams 20 tracks onto one slab of vinyl) – but that doesn’t make it a great album. Costello’s fascination with American country music was already evident in 1980 – long before country was cool – but those tracks (“Radio Sweetheart,” “Black & White World,” “Stranger in the House”) just don’t mesh well with the more punk-infused New Wave cuts like “Clean Money,” which kicks off side 1. Still, there’s enough interesting material here to justify repeat listenings.

These are my records: In the Fishtank 15

Sparklehorse + Fennesz: “In the Fishtank #15”

I’ve had this record for maybe four years now, and I’m still not sure what to make of it. Some beautifully resonant acoustic guitar, some atmospheric and cinematic electronic sounds, and then some dissonant noise that goes nowhere. Still, it manages to hang together somehow, and I do keep putting it on the turntable – so it must have something going for it.