Although this album isn't quite the "best album Elvis Costello has made for years", according to many critics, The River In Reverse is very good indeed. The reason those artists collaborated in the first place was for a benefit concert for the survivors of the recent New Orleans disaster and, given their chemistry and mutual respect, they decided to cut an album together. The bluesy, atmospheric title track allures to what happened in New Orleans and will undoubtedly draw you in. My personal favourite is 'International Echo', one of five songs Elvis co-wrote with Toussaint - it features the very best of both artists, Costello's wit and sneering vocals backed with some fantastic piano licks from Allen. It's a real collaboration as well, with a song by Costello (The River In Reverse), seven by Toussaint (many previously written) and, as I mentioned, the five geniune co-written songs, all of which are superb, by them both.
Backed by Elvis' band, The Imposters, (who are The Attractions minus the one Elvis doesn't get on with any more) and a really kicking horn section (The Crescent City Horns), this whole album has a feel of a quality swing/jazz collection which could have been recorded up to fifty years ago, but retains a contemporary, vibrant, vital sound, so you're never left thinking that you're listening to anything other than original music from two artists still at the top of their game.