The River In Reverse - Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint
The River In Reverse Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The British musician teams with legendary New Orleans songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint for this mix of covers and new material.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 90
    This is a great record for and about New Orleans and one of the best the two men have ever made. [Jun 2006, p.96]
  2. Costello can still oversing and overwrite... But even when he threatens to turn baroque, as in ''Broken Promise Land,'' Toussaint rescues him.
  3. The River In Reverse's soulful arrangements and warm textures are no surprise. [Jul 2006, p.113]
  4. An urgent, soulful collection.
  5. It's the master's steady, rollicking piano that elevates the music -- and keeps the ever-elusive Costello honest.
  6. Mr. Toussaint's florid yet precise New Orleans piano, the way he can make a horn section laugh or sigh, and the stubborn idealism and canny humor of his songs temper Mr. Costello's convoluted earnestness.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. MattK
    Jul 5, 2006
    What a great collaboration. Top it off with a live performance and you've got the very best that music can offer. Costello's vocals and Toussaints arrangements will live a long time. Expand
  2. AndrewR
    Jun 7, 2006
    As with the very best albums, the melodies reveal themselves more fully over time, as does the conviction that underlies this work. Costello's vocals may not lend themselves naturally to this sort of thing, but he has an intuitive ability to pluck unexpected meanings from lines that would simply meld in when sung by anyone else. And the trade-offs between Toussaint's piano and Steve Nieve on Hammond B3 are magnificent. Expand
  3. JedZep
    Aug 31, 2006
    What a great pairing at any time but certainly sounds right and righteous in light of Katrina. Bears repeated listening all the way through. It covers a lot of musical ground while not straying far from New Orleans. Expand
  4. PaulS
    Jun 14, 2006
    One of Costeelo's good excursions outside his original genre (The juliet Letters being one of the bad ones). The piano shines and the music is just fun. Expand
  5. ImanL
    Jun 16, 2006
    I dont know squat about Toussaint but Costello's best in years and years and years maybe since "For the Stars" (another collaboration: hmmmmmmmm). "Brother" is just plain great, title track masterful, and the playing livly and fun. Expand
  6. BrandonS
    Jun 6, 2006
    A lot of reviews call Costello overbearing or somehow otherwise in the way - but would they even be reviewing it if Costello weren't involved? It just seems to me that these music critics jump at every opportunity they get to showcase their elitism. This is a good cd, with a number of excellent songs, played with a lot of energy and feeling. Expand