USA Today, September 21, 2004

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The Delivery Man / Il Sogno

Elvis Costello

Elysa Gardner

The Delivery ManStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg
Il SognoStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg

Pop's most relentless eclectic has outdone himself by releasing two vastly different recordings at once and scoring on both counts. The instrumental Il Sogno, which Costello composed to accompany an Italian dance company's presentation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, brims with the bittersweet melodicism and alternately playful and wistful wit that have distinguished his work as a singer/songwriter. And the London Symphony Orchestra handles Costello's orchestrations, which nod to jazz and jazz-influenced composers such as George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein, with grace and vitality. The Delivery Man, a song cycle based on the account of a mysterious man who enters the lives and imaginations of three small-town women, has a similarly adventurous, theatrical spirit. The character-driven songs, several delivered by Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, funnel rootsy textures into tautly soulful vignettes. Other numbers include Costello's haunting new version of his and T Bone Burnett's Oscar-nominated "The Scarlet Tide." None of these tunes is likely to soar up the pop charts, but like most of Costello's other forays, they'll appeal to those who love music as broadly and boldly as he does.

Copyright 2004 USA Today


USA Today, September 21, 2004

Elysa Gardner reviews The Delivery Man and Il Sogno.


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