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Second Cup Cafe: Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello has one of the most loyal fan bases in the music business, and a prodigious song list to back it up. He's been at it for more than 25 years, writing taut and sophisticated lyrics, often collaborating with the likes of Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach, and the Brodsky Quartet.

His first new album in six years, "When I Was Cruel," reunites Costello with members of his old backing band, the Attractions. They were the guests at The Saturday Early Show's Second Cup Café April 27.

About his new CD, Time Out magazine writes: "We're always going to be hard on a man who produced too many great early albums for his talent to be fluke, and yet, we also rush to praise flawed efforts for their marvelous moments, because we want to believe the old guy can still do it. This time, it's the real deal… Fabulously fresh but wonderfully world-wearied, this is a thrilling album."

The album's title, "When I Was Cruel," is a reference to the arrogance of youth. Costello himself recently told the New York Daily News, "When you're older, you see the humanity, even in people you despise. You'll see an awful world leader, but then you notice the gravy stain on their tie or their bad toupee, and there's this terrible moment where you feel pity -- before you get back to hating them again."

Costello, 47, is married to Cait O'Riordan, for whom he sings a love song, "15 Petals," on his new CD. He enjoys watching soccer and he likes to travel to offbeat destinations. He no longer drinks alcohol or eats meat. But, as he told the Daily News, he still transgresses "in ways you can't even imagine."

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