Elvis Costello's new Secret, Profane & Sugarcane CD has a spare, country feel to it—T. Bone Burnett returns as producer—and critics generally think it hits the mark.
- Glen Boyd, Blog Critics: A little too much "filler" among the bright spots, but those bright spots are terrific. "For those willing to stick it out"—and casual Costello fans may not—it "proves ultimately satisfying."
- Andrew Perry, Telegraph: "This dalliance in fiddly, old-time country music almost feels like a return to base camp. It’s more rootsy than 1981’s Almost Blue."
- Shannon Zimmerman, Spin: "With alchemical highlights that include back-porch foot-stompers (Hidden Shame), torchy weepers (I Felt the Chill), and a tenderhearted, set-closing waltz (Changing Partners), Secret testifies to the merits of aging gracefully."
- Andy Gill, Independent: "Costello's voice has a mean-spirited tone" that doesn't work with this material. It's a "shoddy set of barrel-scrapings overall, lacking both focus and impetus."