USA Today, May 8, 2001

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For The Stars

Anne Sofie von Otter Meets Elvis Costello

Elysa Gardner

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As anyone who has listened to Luciano Pavarotti's inadvertently hilarious collaborations with rock stars knows, it's a dicey proposition for classical and pop singers to venture onto each other's turf. Fortunately, Swedish mezzo-soprano von Otter has a versatile instrument and a deft, eclectic partner in Costello, who produces and plays on this lovely collection of thinking person's pop. Unlike many vocalists in her genre, von Otter has the intuition and technical ability necessary to adapt her warm, lyrical voice to songs that require an earthier approach than her classical repertoire. Her wistful, delicately smoky readings of Tom Waits' "Broken Bicycles," Brian Wilson and Tony Asher's "You Still Believe in Me" and Costello's own "No Wonder" are further enhanced by the haunting arrangements, which are models of elegant minimalism. Not every song is a gem, but all told, Stars will be a welcome surprise to anyone who thinks that "crossover" is a dirty word.


Copyright 2001 USA Today

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USA Today, May 8, 2001


Elysa Gardner reviews For The Stars.


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