Limited, numbered Hybrid SACD.
A classic. I dug this out of my collection recently and I was struck again by how fantastic this album is.
Released in 1998 it could have appeared at any time in the last 40 years. Whilst Costello's voice isn't everyone's cup of tea, on this, his only collaboration with Burt, he sings better than ever. If there ever was an album begging for cover versions this is it. Apart from the brilliant Bill Frisell companion album " The Sweetest Punch" no one has covered any of these truly timeless songs.
If you are a singer looking for good songs, you must hear this. Doing a better version of any of them might be a bit of problem though ! Brilliant. KS
AMG Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach first collaborated on "God Give Me Strength," a sweeping ballad that functioned as the centerpiece in Allison Anders' Grace of My Heart. It was a stunning song in the tradition of Bacharach's classic '60s work and it was successful enough that the composers decided to collaborate on a full album, Painted from Memory.
Wisely, they chose to work within the stylistic parameters of Bacharach's '60s material, but Painted from Memory never sounds like a stylistic exercise. Instead, it's a return to form for both artists. Bacharach hasn't written such graceful, powerful melodies since his glory days, and Costello hasn't crafted such a fully realized album since King of America. It's a testament to both that even if the album is clearly in Bacharach's territory, it feels like a genuine collaboration.
Often, the music not only evokes the spirit of Dionne Warwick, it's reminiscent of Elvis' torching ballads for Trust. Costello keeps Bacharach from his schmaltzier tendencies, and Bacharach keeps Costello from overwriting. With its lush arrangements, sighing brass and strings, gentle pianos, and backing vocals, it's clearly a classicist album, yet it sounds utterly timeless. Its melodies are immediate, its emotions subtle, its impact lasting -- and, with that timeless sound, Painted from Memory illustrates that craft cannot only be its own reward, it can be genuinely moving.
|Brand||Mercury / Mobile Fidelity|
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