"Button My Lip," the opener, epitomizes this blend. The tune is loud and lively, but a rehearsed-sounding stutter Costello inserts early on shows that it's not mannerism-free. Likewise, "There's a Story in Your Voice" makes E.C. seem like something of a poseur simply by pitting him against duet partner Lucinda Williams, whose twang comes naturally. But the bare-bones production by Costello and Dennis Herring, who cut most tracks fast and dirty in Mississippi, adds immeasurably to ditties such as the raucous "Bedlam" and "Needle Time," an effective venture into gutbucket territory.
UPS needn't sweat it; Delivery Man only delivers about half the time. But by Costello's most recent standards, that ain't bad.