Review of For The Stars
- Terje Mosnes; translated by David Christoffer Lier
"Mature pop" isn't without saying a positive term, but every now and then it can refer to gems of sophisticated musical workmanship: songs wherein the steam and muscle has been replaced with tender blue stripes of smoke and an undisguised nerve.
This meeting is the English pop genius Elvis Costello (producer, guest vocalist, lyricist and songwriter) collaborating with the Swedes' international opera star Anne Sofie von Otter. And their rendezvous has turned out to be one of these gems, where a classically trained, but natural sounding voice is unfolding before the astonishing and breathing arrangements of 18 pop ballads. From Brian Wilson/Tony Asher's "Pet Sounds" classics "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" and "You Still Believe In Me" via Lennon/McCartney's "For No One" and Bj÷rn UlvŠus/Benny Andersson's "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room" to Tom Waits' "Broken Bicycles" neatly coupled to McCartney's "Junk".
A bouquet of Costello tunes has also been included. Blending the cream of Swedish studio musicians, the Flesh Quartet, Benny of ABBA, and faithful companion Steve Nieve, results in a unique and truly fine pop record with the resemblance of a classic.