The lugubrious, molasses grooves move forth like syrup on sandpaper.
This is what The Roots bring Elvis Costello: a steady hand, a deliberate pace, anchoring the venerable singer-songwriter’s free-range musings in floodwater-deep funk.
It sounds good on paper, and only slightly less so on “Wise Up Ghost,” the 2013 album the two cut together.
At times the record feels like an exercise in form, a little too carefully manicured.
You wait for them to cut loose, in places.
That shouldn’t be an issue live, though, where The Roots may as well be splitting instead of clutching instruments, such is the energy released.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.