Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 6, 2006

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Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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The River in Reverse

Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint

Roberta Penn

This Week's Hot CD

The perfect response to the call of Elvis Costello's plain singing is Allen Toussaint's sophisticated piano style.

The emotions within the vocals are echoed with unobtrusive fills, nearly fierce chords and a lyricism seldom found in rock and pop. While Costello is an adventurous gadabout, Toussaint remains one of the geniuses behind the R&B and funk that rose out of New Orleans from the '50s through the '70s. Like Costello, he is a poet with an ear for good hooks. Toussaint's "On Your Way Down" and Costello's "Broken Promise Land" last long after listening to them.

Each contributes their own originals, and several were written together. While the post-Katrina blight is inherent in some tunes, the songwriters' broad palettes set to timeless music create universality. Themes of politics, social ills and romance come together on The River in Reverse, making it a brilliant set.

Grade: A

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Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 6, 2006


Roberta Penn reviews The River In Reverse.




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