Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
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.