Toby Cresswell reviews Elvis Costello: “He writes too many words to his songs.” When James Brown sings “Get on up!” do we need more words to get what he’s saying? Bob Dylan reduced the verses of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, but can we imagine that storyline working in less than six minutes? “I went through all the months of January…” It’s how Bernard Sumner sings the words, that matters. How soon is February? Some psalms go two lines, others several pages. Choristers through time have known all the words by heart. How much time have we got? How many words?