Illinois Entertainer, November 1998

From The Elvis Costello Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
- Bibliography -
1975767778798081
8283848586878889
9091929394959697
9899000102030405
0607080910111213
14151617 18 19 20 21


Illinois Entertainer

Illinois publications

Newspapers

University publications

Magazines and alt. weeklies


US publications by state
  • ALAK  AR  AZCA
  • COCTDCDEFL
  • GAHA   IA      ID      IL
  • IN   KSKYLA   MA
  • MDME   MIMNMO
  • MSMTNC  ND    NE
  • NHNJNMNVNY
  • OHOKORPARI
  • SCSDTNTXUT
  • VAVTWAWIWY

-

Painted From Memory

Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach

Michael C. Harris

Burt Bacharach's style of music is great for soundtracks, and there's a certain doctor's office Muzak charm about some of his hits, but he essentially writes flaccid music for flaccid moods. The Elvis Costello / Bacharach team, despite a few genuine beauts, brings out the most tepid in Costello; unfortunately, Costello seems unable to raise the bar for his partner.

Costello has leaned on lush arrangements more and more as his career has evolved, but on Memorv, he seems to be writing down to the music. Or, as a fellow Costello-ite proffered, perhaps he's writing more simply and universal. Whichever it is, you end up with songs like "I Still Have That Other Girl," an albeit catchy lyric hook with pedestrian lyrics. Such is the case with many of the tunes new: "This House Is Empty Now," "My Thief," and the title track float along a facile, ultimately forgettable melody with equally uninspired lyrics.

This journey into the innocuous isn't without highlights. "Toledo," with its Bacharach trademark sad-sack horn, is an achingly adult twist on betrayal ("It's no use saying that I love you / And that girl really didn't mean a thing to me" says more in a line than other whole songs here). Another broken bond fuels "The Sweetest Punch," a shimmering gem where Bacharach steps up his lithe melody-making to great, multi-layered effect, and the duo's first-ever collaboration "God Give Me Strength" (from the movie Grace Of My Heart) is compelling and empathetic.

The most consistently impressive thing about this collaboration is Elvis Costello's voice: nimble, impassioned, and committed on virtually every cut. His voice salvages many songs, but even it is not enough to save Painted From Memory from underachieving.

4

-

Illinois Entertainer, November 1998


Michael C. Harris reviews Painted From Memory.

Images

1998-11-00 Illinois Entertainer clipping 01.jpg
Clippings.

1998-11-00 Illinois Entertainer clipping 02.jpg


1998-11-00 Illinois Entertainer cover.jpg
Cover.

-



Back to top

External links