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4.4 out of 5 stars47
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2004
An album that's been eagerly awaited for 3 years hasn't disappointed, no tracks are light weight, from the very first chord you know its an Elton John album, that distinctive piano sound rings out loud and clear.
There are at least 4 strong single tracks on this album.
Track 1, Weight of the world - is one obvious single it makes this whole compilation a delight to listen to, and the lyrics from Bernie Taupin which have been so strong over the years are a masterpiece of modern poetry.
Track 2, Porch swing in Tupelo - sounds like a track that was written in 1974 for the Caribou album, superb strong chords, harmonies to die for, it is a song that all Elton's fan of the 1970s will come running back for. The addition of the familiar Hammond organ of the past and genuine piano playing is a genuine delight on first listening, and makes you eager for more.
Track 3, Answer in the Sky - Is an obvious single of the future. It is Elton at his best. Superb strings and outstanding arrangements in the background remind you of the Thom Bell Sessions in the late 1970s. Elton's voice is as strong and fresh as he was 30 years ago. The band are also playing the song with conviction and are obviously having a great time making this album. Davey Johnstone's backing vocals and guitar playing are a reminder of what we as fans have missed over the years.
Track 4, Turn the lights out when you leave - Is a country and western style song which makes you sway along. The lyrics complement the song as only a John/Taupin composition can. Reminds me of songs from Rock of the Westies.
Track 5, My Elusive Drug - A genuine reflective song of Elton's life which once again the lyrics are superb and honest. Not an obvious song to write about, but one that you cannot fault Elton for, a modern day 'Someone saved my life tonight?'
Track 6, They call her the cat - Not a rock 'n' roll classic, but a brave attempt. This is a uptempo song that makes Elton voice strain at times, his piano playing saving the day.
Track 7, Freaks in love - Another genuine and honest song of Elton's life, with a touch of tongue in cheek in the lyrics. This is a slow ballad with great arrangements, and guitar playing of a high standard. Not an obvious single, but Im sure would touch many peoples lives.
Track 8, All that I'm allowed - The most obvious song to be released as a single. Once again the lyrics by Bernie are superb, Elton's voice is right on the note, his backing singers have given him great support, and the piano playing so refreshing to hear once again after all these years. The Hammond organ has really added an extra dimension to this song. Not a classic, but he's getting there. You sense Elton enjoyed singing this song as did everyone involved.
Track 9, I stop and breathe - The start of this song makes you think he's going to sing 'Don't go breaking my heart' but very quickly changes to another reminder of how Elton sang a song in the 1970s, at his height. A remorseful song, that would not be out of place on Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Great!
Track 10, Too Many tears - Love the piano playing entry to this song, which repeats throughout. Elton's voice is strong with complicated lyrics set by Bernie. There is a Mandolin playing which is very refreshing in the modern era with an almost Irish feel. This could well be a single in the future, although a surprise choice shouldn't be underestimated.
Track 11, It's getting dark in here - Another obvious Elton song, strong piano chords, great vocal arrangements.
Track 12, I can't keep this from you -
As an Elton fan for over 30 years this is an album I would have to have. No track is a filler, they are all of a high standard and Elton at his best.
For the music fan who is being introduced to Elton or even musicians generally, I doubt you would get a greater insight into how to construct a good song both musically and lyrically. I would suggest that this album could well inspire artists for the future. It's certainly a grower, and if you were a fan in the past but drifted away. GET IT, as you won't be disappointed. Elton, get writing on that Hammond organ, we want more.
On top of all that you get two videos included in the CD as well.
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on 20 November 2004
Elton John's Songs From the West Coast (2001) was a refreshing return to the basic pop sound of piano, guitar, drums and bass that made him a music super star. It was regarded as a 'back to basics album' and it was a superb record full of catchy songs about all things Americana. It was compared by many critics to the wonderful 'Madman Accross the Water (1972)'. If this is true then Peachtree Road is certainly the critically acclaimed counterpart to 'Tumbleweed Connection'.
The record starts very well with Weight of the World and Porch Swing in Tupelo as the albums best songs. However, what the record lacks is quality control. Songs like My Elusive Drug, Freaks in Love and All that im Allowed take the shine off a promising start. It is clear that although Elton intended to go back to basics there is still the over produced sound reminicent of the 90s in places. A more basic sound like 'Songs from the West Coast' would have served this record better.
This is a good record and a welcome one to all fans of Musics fairy godmother. However, after taking a huge leap forward in 2001, Peachtree Road sees Elton taking a few large steps backwards.
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on 20 November 2004
I have to agree with of current reviews present hear or other places. This proves that "Songs from the West Coast" wasn't a lonely star. Peachtree road is certainly up there even compared to the 70's classic.
The lyrics are poignant. Melodies seems oddly familiar at first listen. Muscicianship of the finest. Eltons voice sounds great. Very uplifting with the southern feel to the album. Production is top-notch; not bad for a first-run.
One thing I have to add that no-one has mentioned before... This is one of the best sounding SACD's I have heard. I won't go into detail - it has to be heard. After being a bit disapointed of the SACD version of Goodbye Yellow... I was SO glad and amazed of the sound here. You really find yourself wrapped in this wonderful album. So crisp and clear sound beautifully seperated and present. Such a difference from ordinary CD to this SACD.
If you are wondering whether you should SACD player you only need listen one of this Peachtree Road and compare it to ordinary CD. Go down to your hi-fi shop and make them demonstrate SACD for your using this disc. Do it and do it tomorrow. You wont be sorry
The only drawback in this production is the poor "clap" sound on "I can't keep this from you". Instead using the gospel choir at his disposal John uses are very artifical clap.
Only one hick-up from me... The album is growing on me and I can't stop playing this album. It will go into heavy rotation in my ever-growing EJ collection.
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on 10 December 2004
This is a great album, solid and emotional. 7 of the 12 songs I absolutely adore, my particular favorites being My Elusive Drug, I Stop And I Breathe, All That I'm Allowed, and It's Getting' Dark In Here to name a few. There isn't a track I didn't like although Answer In The Sky and Too Many Tears took some time to grow on me but hey they're just as likely to be someone else's favorites. When I put the cd into the player I did so with a certain amount of dread, not that I didn't have confidence in my favorite musician, but when you look forward to something for what seems like a long time you can easily be disappointed. Much like Songs From The West Coast, the album has the simple structure of his 70's work with only a few extra embellishments here and there. Elton's voice is very powerful and passionate throughout (except in one of two songs that are taking time to hit it off with me); the backing tracks are also resonant and rich. Don't expect anything different to his earlier work, particularly his first albums and SFTWC, the album is a fitting self made tribute to all things Elton. That doesn't mean you need to be a fan to like this one. Once again it's a solid and meaty album that pretty much chugs all the way through. If you buy it I would expect you to like it. The only people that may not like it are those that wouldn't even dream of looking for it in the first place - different strokes for different folks.
Of course I can't forget to mention Bernie Taupin. The lyrics on this one are for the most part excellent, they offered me a feeling of calmness and hope in the face of some of the nastiness facing us in the world today, they were also very reflective of the life experiences and emotions that the two writers have had. There was generally very little negativity within the songs, against the majority of his other work with Elton in which he has written a lot about sadness. Sure there's a cheesy (but likeable) sounding little ditty in the middle, They Call Her The Cat, which lyrically is just a bit of fun but that doesn't distract from the general feel of the album. In the weeks leading up to the album it was described as have a generally southern feel. In a way it's true but more lyrically than musically with Bernie's frequent references to Southern states and Cities. Musically it explores a wide range of musical styles with some very bluesy overtones throughout, there's a lovely gospel choir that sing on many of the tracks as well as the use of a drawbar organ and pedal steel in places. Back to the Organ sounds, the last track on the album, Can't Keep This From You, reminded me of Procal Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale, it's not the same but it has that kind of feel to it.
I hope that there are at least a few more albums to follow before BT and EJ jack it all in, as this album once again shows; their talent in songwriting is as strong as it ever was.
Well, I shall stop there and hopefully leave you to click the 'Add to shopping cart' tab at the top of this page. Enjoy!
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on 25 November 2004
Some things in your life never go away, the seasons, the weather and the ever present pop genius Elton John. You can paint your life around his magnificent melodies from the timeless 'Your Song', the grandeur of 'Funeral for a friend / love lies bleeding', 'Sacrifice'and even the little known 'I can't get over getting over losing you' and now his latest offering packed full of goodies....
Peachtree Road really picks up where the previous classic 'Songs from the West Coast' album left off and Reg quickly slips into style with the opener 'Weight of the world'. The following two tracks continue the high standard and similar tempo; 'Porch Siwing in Tupelo' and the next single (maybe) 'Answer in the Sky'. My favourite track follows 'Turn the lights out when you leave'. More melody and lyric wizardry from Bernie Taupin - superb. Other tracks follow similar patterns and tempos with the exception of the pacy 'They call her the cat' featuring the brass section from the American band Chicago. The first single 'All that I'm allowed' is one of those timeless Elton tracks; sheer brilliance and one of surely many future offerings that will ensure any Elton 'best of' is only really 'best of so far...'.
One must mention the reason for my not awarding five stars; it's really down to the packaging; some random photos (no picture of Elton even), no lyrics and a plain pink back sleeve and inner below where the disc houses are disappointing. Also, the lack of songs; Elton tucks away geat songs on his single releases these days (check out 'The North Star' from the 'Songs from...' sessions) and I would rather these were included here instead of a couple of videos in enhanced-CD format which misleadingly imply a track listing of fourteen.
Elton himself produced this album but it's the touching dedication to the late, great Gus Dudgeon and his wife Sheila, tragically killed a couple of years ago in a car accident that caught my eye.
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on 15 November 2004
Potential buyers should not be deterred by the chart performance of All That I'm Allowed (not one of Elton's strongest singles, that's for sure!) nor the album's own disappointing chart entry. Peachtree Road finds Elton continuing the return to form and critical respectability of Songs from the West Coast. Laden with ballads, it's rich, warm and mellow, with a relaxed pace and distinctly Southern feel- the first half reminiscent at times of early classic albums Tumbleweed Connection and Honky Chateau. Initially i found the second half disappointing, with strong hints of the ponderous middle of the road sentimentality and occasionally trite lyrics that have marred Elton's post-70's career, but with further listens all the songs- with the exception of I Can't Keep This From You (his weakest finale for years)- have grown, to form an unusually cohesive set.
Stand-outs for me include very gentle Southern rocker (literally) Porch Swing in Tupelo, the genuinely spirit-lifting Weight of the World (Elton at his most content), the catchy Country sound of Turn the Lights Out When You Leave, the jaunty Too Many Tears and the one uptempo song They Call Her the Cat.
While lacking in truly outstanding spine-tingling tracks, and so falling well short of Elton's (generally agreed) finest achievements Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic, Peachtree Road is a consistent, mature, quietly crafted album: slow, smooth and soulful rather than dynamic or inspired. It may not make many converts but won't disappoint most fans either.
Repeated listens have been making this middle-aged fogey pretty happy; i've enjoyed singing along, causing my friendly pet terrier to howl in protest!
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on 9 November 2004
A very good and well produced album. Eltons first album where he has produced it himself.
If you liked Songs From the West Coast then this album is even better with catchy tunes as All That I'm Allowed, Answer In the Sky & Freaks In Love. As usual, the combination of Bernie's lyrics and Elton's ability to write great music and songs is clear with this album. Classic Elton sounds with a Tumbleweed Connection feel to it. A great album well worth buying. He does it again!!!
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on 30 March 2005
Elton's 43rd Album!!! How a solo artist with almost 40 years of writing under his belt, can still have the creativity that "Peachtree Road" offers speaks volumes of his ability. This is buesy, with Gospel overtones (he uses a choir on many of the tracks to great effect). Peachtree Road could have been written around the time of Tumbleweed Connection or Madman, and been right at home. Excellent Album. Highly recommended.
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on 4 April 2009
Following on from the 2001 near-masterpiece Songs from the West Coast, Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin continue their artistic renaissance with 2004's Peachtree Road, the first of his albums Elton has ever produced. If not as strong as their earlier creative oasis, it does offer sharp lyrics and excellent melodies. For the first time in a while, an Elton John record actually runs a consistent theme, in this case a more Country-influenced one, the inspiration being more intentional than serendipitous, as the album was written in Atlanta, Georgia, near the eponymous road where the State of Georgia was built on.

It's best to halve the album into four quarters, each segment dealing with roughly the same subject (although this was most probably unintentional). The first part includes "Weight of the World" and "Answer In the Sky", the latter being an American single, and together focus on contrasting ideas of hope and acceptance, while "Porch Swing In Tupelo" and "Turn the Lights Out When You Leave" are heavily influenced by Country Music - pleasingly, as Elton touched upon this genre, albeit gently, in the early part of his career. Bernie wrote the lyrics to "Porch Swing in Tupelo" while sitting on Elvis' old porch swing at his childhood home, and while never actually naming the so called King of Rock 'n' Roll, it's clear who he's talking about. It's easy to imagine either of these songs to be heard on Country Radio.

The second segment of the album begins with "My Elusive Drug", a song both Elton and Bernie attribute to their other halves, and runs through to the first British single, "All That I'm Allowed". "They Call Her the Cat" is a mildly disturbing ode concerning a transsexual; equal halves Memphis blues and swamp pop. The melody and lyrics to "Freaks In Love" and "My Elusive Drug" are vaguely similar, with the former being the weaker of the two. And on "All That I'm Allowed", Elton's voice is captured in an echo chamber, rather reminiscent of his late eighties work. It's a mid-tempo number which takes a few listens to really like, but is inevitably memory-bound, if only for the "I'm thankful" repetitions.

The final quarter of the disc begins with "I Stop and I Breathe", a yearning, powerful song eluding to love's crippling grasp of the heart, while "Too Many Tears" uses almost exactly the same production techniques on "All That I'm Allowed": it's ostensibly an argument borne from frustration at the basic inefficaciousness of the modern world. Coming late in the album, "It's Getting Dark In Here" offers some of Bernie's signature intriguing lyrics, "Don't talk about angels/Or how I'll be saved/I'm no coward but I'm not that brave" and, "The wait isn't worth what I'm getting/Sometimes I feel I'm on fire/I've been handed a curse and a blessing/My life's been stripped down to the wire". The final track, "I Can't Keep This from You" is clearly vintage Elton, an I've-got-to-tell-you-how-I-feel number, touching on cliché, but without the mundane lyrics tarnishing such compositions.

Peachtree Road might not have the down-home qualities of Songs from the West Coast, or for that matter, the more accentuated Country-influences of The Captain and the Kid, practised here, but it is a decent Elton John album, ultimately superior to slim mid-nineties offerings like The Big Picture and Made in England.

Although the record is undoubtedly flawed - there are far too many slow songs and Elton's production leaves a little to be desired, it did receive generally positive reviews upon its release, and perhaps understandably didn't sell in the truckloads. It is far from being my favourite Elton album, and I have pulled it out occasionally to give it another spin, but there are lots of far better albums in Elton and Bernie's long, vast and artistically rich back catalogue.
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on 25 August 2006
I wasn't sure how to approach this album. After the pleasant surprise of "Songs from the West Coast" how would Elton follow it? Would quality control be very much on board or would it be time to "get me leather jacket?!" I'm pleased to say that Elton has built on the successful formula used on .."West Coast.." "Peachtree Road" finds Elton in mellow mood and almost back where he began. This time though, a lot of ground has been covered. Some of the songs here remind me of the "Friends" soundtrack, and the marvellous work that immediately followed. This is the one he should have made a long time ago before tantrums and whatever got in the way. "Peachtree Road" redresses the balance back to Elton John..musician rather than celeb. Well done!!
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