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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours and Rendezvous - Songs of Elvis Costello

MUSIC REVIEWS

Various Artists-Bespoke Songs, Lost Dogs, Detours & Rendezvous-Songs Of Elvis Costello (Rhino)

For the most part, the subjects of tribute albums have little or no say in what goes on. Elvis Costello decided that if anyone was going to put together an album of covers of his songs, he should be the one to make those decisions.

Because of this, Bespoke Songs... takes on a depth that most tribute albums don't touch. Because Costello decided on the songs, there are few of his better known songs. More of these are songs he wrote for other artists and often produced or played on. Thus many have never been released by Elvis (and several others were only on his stopgap album, All This Useless Beauty, recordings of songs he wrote for others.)

Stylistically, it is all over, but it is held together with Costello's brilliant songcraft. His songs are molded into the cod reggae of Was (Not Was)' "Shadow & Jimmy," the rockabilly stomp of Dave Edmunds' "Girls Talk," country of Johnny Cash' "Hidden Shame," aching balladry of Roy Orbison's "The Comedians" and down and out jazz of Chet Baker's "Almost Blue." Bespoke Songs shows how a tribute album is done right.  (9/98)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 1998 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Revised: January 31, 2016.

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Copyright 1998 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 31, 2016.