12 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pop maestro Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello ("king of punk," in BB's parlance) had such a fine experience writing "God Give Me Strength" together for the film Grace of My Heart that they decided to expand the collaboration into a full-length set. The result was not only Costello's best album in years, it also returned Bacharach to the musically rich sound of his carefully crafted '60s masterworks with Dionne Warwick. Costello's lyrics, at times less direct than those of one-time Bacharach collaborator Hal David, nonetheless perfectly match the complexly emotional style. In fact, Elvis revels not only in dense texts like "My Thief" but cheeky exercises such as "Tears at the Birthday Party" and "Such Unlikely Lovers" with lung-bursting power. A surprise pairing? Maybe, but also one of the happiest in pop-music annals.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pop maestro Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello ("king of punk," in BB's parlance) had such a fine experience writing "God Give Me Strength" together for the film Grace of My Heart that they decided to expand the collaboration into a full-length set. The result was not only Costello's best album in years, it also returned Bacharach to the musically rich sound of his carefully crafted '60s masterworks with Dionne Warwick. Costello's lyrics, at times less direct than those of one-time Bacharach collaborator Hal David, nonetheless perfectly match the complexly emotional style. In fact, Elvis revels not only in dense texts like "My Thief" but cheeky exercises such as "Tears at the Birthday Party" and "Such Unlikely Lovers" with lung-bursting power. A surprise pairing? Maybe, but also one of the happiest in pop-music annals.

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