Review of Painted From Memory
Undercover Online, 1999-02-18

- Paul Cashmere

Painted From Memory

The Undercover Review

The teaming of an original new wave legend with a lounge lizard is indeed a strange mix but whoever came up with the idea and throwing Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach in the same room sure nailed it.

"Painted From Memory" comes a couple of years after Costello and Bacharach first got together for the "Grace Of My Heart" soundtrack.

That album gave us God Give Me Strength. The potency of that song was enough for Elvis and Burt to go the whole enchilada and compose an entire album merging together the cutting edge of Costello with the musical sensibility of Bacharach.

Costello learns quickly too. In a recent interview he said that most people assume the first track In The Darkest Place to have been composed by Bacharach, but in fact, he wrote the melody. Listening to the tune, it does sound classic Bacharach.

Toledo is another one of those songs that if Burt didn't write with Elvis, he would have easily composed for Dionne Warwick or Aretha Franklin.

Lyrically, there is cause for concern for Mrs Costello and Mrs Bacharach. We can only hope the lyrics for I Still Have The Other Girl On My Mind and This House Is Empty Now have been written in the third person.

While "Painted From Memory" is successful painting it's characters, it would seem that all of these characters have relationship problems.

The irony is that this album of mood music with it's romantic melodies with songs like Painted From Memory and What's Her Name Today is almost completely about love gone wrong.

Costello fans are used to their hero's musical tangents. As Almost Blue was to country, Painted From Memory is to Adult Contemporary.

by Paul Cashmere

Tracklisting for "Painted From Memory"

In The Darkest Place
I Still Have That Other Girl
This House Is Empty Now
Tears At The Birthday Party
Such Unlikely Lovers
My Thief
The Long Division
Painted From Memory
The Sweetest Punch
What's Her Name Today?
God Give Me Strength

Label: Mercury

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