London Times, June 4, 2006

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London Times

UK & Irish newspapers

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The River in Reverse

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint

Mark Edwards

★★★★

Anyone whose relationship with Elvis Costello stretches back to 1980’s Get Happy!! will realise that while many of the man’s collaborations stretch his talents, this one capitalises on them. His band mesh easily with Toussaint’s horn section (and you don’t have to be a muso to relish the thought of Toussaint on piano combining with Steve Nieve on Hammond organ), while Costello adds bite and bile that are entirely appropriate on an album recorded, in part, in New Orleans, just four months after Hurricane Katrina. The original idea — Costello singing the Toussaint songbook — quickly mutated, and what we have here is a mixture of back-catalogue gems with new co-written songs. New and old merge as readily as the two sets of musicians. The angry swell of the co-written "Six-Fingered Man" sits nicely next to the easy funk of "Who’s Gonna Help Brother Get Further" — originally written by Toussaint for Lee Dorsey. As with several others, it takes on a new relevance in a post-Katrina world.

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The Sunday Times, June 4, 2006


Mark Edwards reviews The River In Reverse, which is named Pop CD Of The Week.


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