Review of For The Stars
Q, 2001-06-01
- Stuart Maconie


Elvis Costello & Annie Sofie von Otter
For The Stars
Deutsche Grammophon 469 530-2

He sent her flowers after a show in 1989. They said, We must make a record. 12 years later, here it is.

Elvis Costello's ongoing love affair with the classics, if sniggered at by some, continues to entertain, viz the fine if slightly ignored Juliet Letters. This collaboration with Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter - the result of a fannish enthusiasm from Costello - is even better. The bulk of the material is Costello's but the real gems are the lucid interpretations of other writers' work including Abba, Paul McCartney and Tom Waits. Ron Sexsmith's April After All is the real discovery of the set, but the highspot is the minimal, elegant setting of the Brian Wilson's Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) which reveals the song's inner beauty. It's all as therapeutically soothing as a sauna if much, much cooler. ****

Stuart Maconie