While Steve Nieve is known mainly as Elvis Costello’s second banana in the Attractions and currently in The Imposters, ToGetHer confirms the fact his stylistic tapestry is far more varied. His fourth solo album of the past 30 years, it spans rock, pop, nocturnal ballads, and songs of purely theatrical persuasion. An impressive cast mostly of marquee names (Sting, Elvis, Ron Sexsmith, Laurie Anderson, Glenn Tilbrook et. al.) will likely get listeners in the door, but the array of exceptional music should keep them enticed as well.
It’s little wonder. Several songs sound like instant standards; among them a trio of midnight serenades sung in French, the bonhomie ballad “Halloween (Bonfire Night)” and the Costello crooner, “Tender Moment.” Happily though, Nieve’s knack for nostalgia doesn’t prevent him from letting loose, as the opening barrage of “Save the World” and the sweet sashay of closing track “Summer Song” affirm so effectively.
Like its playful twist of a title, ToGetHer makes for a somewhat dizzying display, which some might find akin to a musical mishmash. Even so, Nieve’s ambitions ought to be admired, and in terms of pure tunefulness, ToGetHer is not only impressive, but infinitely intriguing as well.
– Lee Zimmerman