Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, If I Can Dream: album review

Download: In the Ghetto; An American Trilogy

Andy Gill
Friday 30 October 2015 13:33
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Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, If I Can Dream
Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, If I Can Dream

This latest posthumous repackage involves replacing or augmenting the original arrangements of 14 Elvis performances with new orchestrations, mostly to the songs’ detriment: both the snake-hipped sway of “It’s Now Or Never” and the yearning tone of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” are ill-served by the lush strings.

“In the Ghetto” is more sensitively treated while the intimate meniscus of “Love Me Tender”’ is not too damaged by the strings.

“An American Trilogy” is subject to wholesale changes, including the replacement of the flute solo by trumpet, and even, at one point, the removal of Elvis’s voice to tidy up a clash with the backing vocals.

Mercifully, there are few guest appearances – the addition of Duane Eddy’s signature twang to a couple of songs is aptly done, but do we really need Michael Bublé duetting on “Fever”? No, we do not.

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