Only Elvis Costello could release a jazz album on the august Deutsche Grammophon label. Not exactly “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”, is it? Why does he bother? This drab sequence of Rodgers & Hart-style ballads is so arid and mannered you just wanna yell, “Stop farting about with old dead forms and write something NEW!” Or at least something from the heart rather than the ageing fanboy head.
Collaborating with Bacharach, a real genius, was one thing. Offering up what is essentially the same mopey, major-to-minor song 11 times?complete with very samey vocal lines and that gratingly strained vibrato?is another entirely.