Perhaps Elvis Costello was unsure whether to create a Broadway musical in which he could co-star with his wife, Diana Krall, or to whip up some clever lyrics for Beethoven's symphonies, so he settled on recording a live big-band jazz album with the massive string-enhanced Metropole Orkest. Costello may be an overly ambitious fool, but he's no idiot, so he brought in some ringers to write the charts for the event. Both Mike Mossman and Joan Reinder are talented arrangers, and Vince Mendoza is a capable conductor, but they still can't make a silk purse out of the sow's ear of Costello's limited voice. The problem goes far beyond Costello being out of sync; at times it sounds like he's singing a completely different tune than what's being played. But if you think that's bad, Costello has included a bonus disc of excerpts from his Il Songo ballet based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for lesser-evil's comparison sake.