Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 4, 1997

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Duet set a must for Costello fans

Elvis Costello and Steve Nieve / Costello & Nieve

Michael Cote / Scripps Howard News Service

Elvis Costello and the Attractions released their first full-length collaboration in a decade with All This Useless Beauty. Before the band toured America, Costello hit several U.S. cities with Attractions pianist Steve Nieve for a series of mostly acoustic dates. Costello & Nieve features two hours of the duo's performances culled from these shows.

The five-disc EP collection has been issued in a limited edition of only 30,000 copies.

Over 26 tracks, the duo offer ample evidence that Costello's songs can stand up without much instrumentation.

Costello and Nieve perform spare versions of all but one song from All This Useless Beauty, a few covers (such as the Grateful Dead's "Ship of Fools") and a fair amount of tracks from Costello's extensive back catalog.

Nieve's quirky but classically grounded playing has always been the perfect complement for Costello's moody, sometimes overreaching vocals. The pianist adds menace to the reggae-tinged rocker, "Watching the Detectives," but the set concentrates on ballads like "Man Out Of Time" and "Just a Memory." Costello and Nieve strip "Temptation" (from 1980's Get Happy) of its up-tempo R&B style and transform it into a gentle near-lullaby.

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 4, 1997


Michael Cote reviews Costello & Nieve.
(A longer version of this piece ran in the Bloomington Pantagraph.)

Images

1997-01-04 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel page 5E clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

1997-01-04 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel page 5E.jpg
Page scan.

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