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on 25 July 2005
This album is one of the finest examples of quality pop music you can buy.It is a testament to the artists involved that this type of music can be released in today's cosmetic music industry.
I am not a great fan of either Costello or Bacharach which is probably why I can appreciate the merits of this album unlike some of the other rather blinkered reviews posted.I think Costello's voice adds to the slightly melancholy flavour of this largely ballad, soft pop set.Listening to this has made me appreciate the genius of Bacharach. He is the master of dictating emotion through the music which is enhanced by some clever, poetic lyrics which complement one another through out.He knows when to turn up the tempo to enhance the sudden change in timing often using poignant semi-tone melody or complete pauses in the music which almost bring tears to the eyes they are so beautifully produced.Few artists have mastered this type of writing since the late Cole Porter who was a pioneer of 'pop' tunes well over half a century ago. I shall not try to ramble about each individual track but I hope that this review intrigues you enought to give the album a listen. I would say this is in my top ten albums of all time which sits it with some pretty hefty classics!
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on 26 May 2000
It's difficult to find the words to accurately convey the brilliance of this album, and believe me I'm not one to lavish praise lightly. I've long been a fan of Costello but in this collaboration he really excells himself, aided obviously by the accepted brilliance of Bacharach. For me 'My Thief' stands out for the crafted lyrics and the desperation of Elvis's delivery but to be honest there are no tracks on this album that even descend as far as 'average'. In case you think I've just bought this album I haven't - it's 7 or 8 months old in my collection and probably the most played in that time. When you look at what passes for popular music in the charts today, this album is a timely reminder of what it is actually possible to achieve when two artistes of genuine talent combine in an organic way. Too early, I accept, to call it a classic but ask me in ten years time and I'm sure my opinion won't have changed.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 October 2006
This magnificent album combines the wonderful talents of Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello together to create something completely unique. Sure from the opening notes its clear who has had a bigger influence on the music (Bacharach) but Costello's input both lyrically and in some fantastic vocal performances is not to down-played.

Bacharach's background as one one of the finest popular songwriters needs no introduction. However the journey that Costello has taken from 70's new-wave angry young man to frankly all-round musical chameleon is amazing. He's now married to a Jazz Pianist, reads music and has written his own classical music - including the score! At the time of this recording Costello was halfway through this transitional period, but was already writing at the Piano and indeed a large part of the music was written by Bacharach and Costello at two keyboards.

On this album Costello pushes his voice to the limit and consequently puts in a number of astounding performances. His voice will not be to everybodies taste, but I love the emotion he puts into his singing and the vibrato he adds to any held note has become a trademark feature.

Favourite tracks - well "Tears at the Birthday Party" gives Costello a chance great to demonstrate his vocal range. Perhaps not the most interesting track lyrically, but when Costello sings the chorus you can't help but become wrapped up in the whole thing. Likewise "God give me Strength" is another great performance from Costello.

Another track I love is "The Sweetest Punch" which demonstrates Burt Bacharach's fabulous arranging and conducting skills. It goes without saying that all the songs are impeccably arranged, and the production is spot on.

You know how sometimes you have to play an album quite a few times before you begin to appreciate it. Well not with this one, the first time I played it I new it was a classic.
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on 4 April 2016
Great so bs but Elvis (great though he is) is not an accomplished singer .They should have got other artists to sing their sings
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on 9 February 2002
If I had to take one album to a desert island it would be this one. There are no weak songs. Indeed I know of no other album which achieves such a consistently high standard throughout. If you are in any doubt about buying this album- don't be. You will get to love this album.
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on 1 March 2017
Beautiful easy listening songs
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on 4 August 2010
I was never a huge vocal fan of either of the talented singer/songwriters here, but appreciated the writing talents immensely of Mr Bacharach & Mr Costello.However, after hearing a few tracks off the album, I was convinced enough that it warranted a purchase and further investigation. Immediately I was taken by the wonderfully smooth, emotional vocal delivery by Elvis Costello (who sings all the tracks) as well as the fabulous lyrics and story told as the album unfolds. With perfectly pitched backing vocals and orchestral arrangements, the album is wonderfully musical and impeccably produced by them both, providing an album of extraordinary depth, range and intensity that at times is uplifting and devastatingly heart breaking. This album has now become one of a handful of albums that I always have at hand whenever I'm away from home...that is the highest praise I can offer...
It is an album that I feel will become an essential purchase for anyone with an interest in genuine song writing genius and will never fail to deliver.
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on 14 November 1999
This is Costello definatley at his best. As for Bacharach those horns, piano and composition ...he's excelled himself. You only have to listen to this album once to be hooked!"My Thief", "I still have that other girl" are tunes that stick in your head long after the CD's turned off ! Hopefully this won't be their only collaboration.
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on 3 December 2003
I had high hopes for this album and was initially dissapointed. However, I've always found that the more reluctant an album is to give up it's secrets, the more worthwhile it turns out to be. This is certainly one of those - not the easiest to get to know, but once you're there it's an awe inspiring masterpiece. Bacharach and Costello have fused their two unique songwiting tallents together to produce an album that shows them both of in the best of all lights - the vocals are angst ridden, they're loving, they're sung from the heart, and the music is the perfect partner. This album is recommended to anyone who can appreciate musical tallent, but not recommended to people who want accessable packaged pop.
p.s. listen out for the flugel horn solo - class!
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on 23 July 2013
Very very disappointed with this purchase not the disc itself as never actually received it. I was so excited when I purchased this cd as I simply love it, however I received a Lynard Skinner one instead which I gave to my dad as couldn't be bothered with all the hassle of trying to return it. I will think again about ordering anything that will be coming from overseas.
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