SOMETHING has been missing from much of what Elvis Costello has recorded in the past decade or so.

But what had gone has now returned: Elvis has rediscovered the uninhibited, headlong looseness of his early days, the crashing and glorious lack of restraint that saw anything and everything thrown into the musical mix.

Initially released on vinyl, and still having two sides, each featuring six songs, Momofuku is an instant delight – fitting, as the album apparently takes its name from the inventor of instant noodles. What happy and productive noodles these are, too. There are crunchy, old-style Elvis songs, such as American Gangster Time and Stella Hurt, winning lounge affairs such as Harry Worth, one touching hymn to late fatherhood (My Three Sons), and the delightful Mr Feathers, which sounds like a song the Kinks never got round to writing. Who would have thought that Costello would have rediscovered his sense of barbed fun at the age of 53?