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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album
This millennium in his albums (if not some side projects) Elton has been intent on re-establishing himself as a musical artist to be taken seriously, rather than a declining purveyor of plastic pop and inconsistent albums. He has made good progress; with The Diving Board he has arrived. That is not to say it will suit all Elton fans. Amid the exciting buzz of praise,...
Published 15 months ago by John C. Davies

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars What a sad album.
What a sad album...
where have all the good times gone Elton?
The production and the sound are awful.. the first six tracks very disappointing
Published 7 days ago by S. Carmine


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Jazzy than his other CD's!, 2 Jan 2014
By 
Jane Grover "Jane" (Horsham, UK) - See all my reviews
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I purchased this CD after seeing Elton John at the Palladium back at the end of the summer. He performed a few of the tracks from this CD, which I liked instantly. I have to say that the piano plays a big part in this album, which demonstrates what a brilliant musician he is, and if you love jazz, you will particularly like this album. Well done Elton - another hit!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton does it again!, 16 Dec 2013
By 
H ROSS (ALASKA) - See all my reviews
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Brilliant album. Elton at his best. If your already a fan of his music make sure you add this ro your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wave Goodbye to the Yellow Brock Road..., 18 Oct 2013
By 
R. Muir "fabricationsHQ" (Prestwick, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Diving Board (MP3 Download)
Elton John describes The Diving Board as not just "the most piano-orientated album" of his career but also his "most adult album."

The piano-based reference is certainly true - the tracks on The Diving Board are primarily arranged around the piano with minimal fuss and clutter, allowing the songs to breathe and highlight Elton John's vocal and Bernie Taupin's lyrics.

But Elton John has been producing "adult" albums of solid and, in the case of Songs From the West Coast, excellent quality since the big ballad sounds of the under-rated The Big Picture in 1997.

The Diving Board is therefore - in terms of song structure and arrangements - a continuation of the mature style to be found on albums such as the aforementioned West Coast and Peachtree Road.

The album features many minor key numbers, bringing a melancholic edge to proceedings (typified by the piano and vocal led ballad `My Quicksand' and the poignant `Home Again') but The Diving Board also includes three short `Dream' instrumentals and incorporates elements of pop, soul, gospel and little flurries of jazz.

The latter elements make Elton John's thirtieth solo studio release the perfect follow-up to The Union, his 2010 collaborative album with Leon Russell (and The Union producer T Bone Burnett is back at the desk for The Diving Board).
'Oscar Wilde Gets Out,' an intriguing mid-tempo number about Wilde's fall from grace and two-year imprisonment, would have been a great fit for The Union as would the gospel-tinged `A Town Called Jubilee.'

American country also gets the Elton John and Bernie Taupin treatment via the pleasant little sing-a-long of `Can't Stay Alone Tonight' while the up-tempo highlight of the album is the honky-tonk pop and roll shuffle of `Mexican Connection (Kids in the Candlelight).'
The smoky jazz blues of the title track (with a lyric inspired by troubled young actress and recording artist Lindsay Lohan) is the perfect closer for such an understated album.

On stage Elton John, the Greatest Hits live showman, portrays the Rocket Man of yesteryear - but then that's what the majority of the audiences is expecting and demand of their Crocodile Rocker.

But at 66 years old and with exaggerated vocal accentuations now employed to compensate for a diminished and lower vocal range, Elton John is almost a parody of himself when playing that Back in the Day role - if he entered an Elton John impersonation contest now he probably wouldn't make the top three.

But forty years on from Reggie Dwight's finest studio hour (and a half) his 21st century releases prove there's new musical life in the old Joanna player yet.

So wave Goodbye to the Yellow Brick Road and say hello to the adult version of Elton John, currently producing some of the best music of his entire career.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album for some time, 17 Oct 2013
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A good album well recorded with interesting written songs and good arrangements to each track. Makes easy listening very enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton is back!, 14 Oct 2013
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Elton is surely back on the charts with this one. Stunningly moving songs. Also a few uptempo songs though. I absolutely love the album! Worth every single penny!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars elton's best album in years, 10 Oct 2013
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This album is without no doubt Elton's best work since Songs From The West Coast. All the songs on the album take you back to the days of Madman Across The Water, Tumbleweed Connections. Quite simply this is just as good as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Diving Board, 10 Oct 2013
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I love this new album of Elton Johns. It is of course a stark contrast to some of his earlier work when he first started out. An easy album to listen to and very melodic, the piano playing expressing his many years of dedicated practice. I would definitely recommend this whether you are a fan or not!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton John - On another timeless flight, 4 Oct 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Diving Board (MP3 Download)
The narrative around Elton John's new album "Diving Board" is about a return to a stripped down, sparse piano and lyric-driven sensibility of his early days. Go back to 2001 and the same claims were also being made for the excellent "Songs from the West Coast". But on this album Elton John has again enlisted the producing "gun for hire" T Bone Burnett, fresh from work with Diana Krall, Steve Earle, Gregg Allman and of course rekindling the link with Elton forged on 2011's "The Union".

The Burnett and John link up adds new dimensions not least with Bernie Taupin firing on all lyrical cylinders and the producer essentially dismissing band support. The result is that "The Diving Board" is a fine album recalling the wonders of the early Elton which got lost over the years in "Tantrums and Tiaras". So it back to a proper emphasis on songs and all the better for it. Opener "Oceans Away" sets the tone with Elton singing better than ever as and where he opens with the confession that "I hung out with the old folks/ in the hope that I'd get wise/I was trying to bridge the gap, between the great divide". Other great songs follow not least the haunting "Town called jubilee" and the brilliant standout "My Quicksand" which is one of the better songs he has written in years. The album is punctuated with 3 "Dream" piano interludes and the sumptuous third of these is also Keith Jarrett like in composition.

Songs like "Can I stay alone tonight" hark back to that vintage era of "Tumbleweed Connection" as does the splendid "Take This Dirty Water" where Elton sings sagely "If you break some bones on landing/ You'll know you're built to last". It is three of the darker songs here however which impress most. "Oscar Wilde gets out" charting the writers sad departure to France post Reading Jail is an automatic start for downloads. The "New Fever Waltz" would not go amiss on a Tom Waits album while the highly reflective almost Randy Newman style song "Home Again" is pure class.

"The Diving Board" is a master class in song writing and sees Elton John at his most intimate and introspective. Perhaps it is not sardine packed with obvious hits but taken as a whole it is his most solid and worthwhile album in a decade. The old Rocket Man has got back into groove, and achieved lift off. Part of this stems from the fact that he is clearly enjoying himself greatly not least on the evidence of "Mexican Vacation (Kids in Candlelight)" and the excellent bluesy title track. This reviewer would not claim to be a fully paid up member of the Elton John fan club but this is one record of his that you really need.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 3 Oct 2013
By 
Ronald Devlin (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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The Jimmies

As can be seen from other reviews, some love this album while others (including self-declared EJ fans) either hate it or are at best lukewarm. Well, this reviewer just loves it - and it gets better and better the more times I listen to it.

EJ has emerged from what I would consider a kind of comfort zone to deliver this album. This comfort zone included use of his longstanding backing band and crafting and arranging tunes to take account of his band's strengths (particularly evident on the fine Songs from the West Coast album, the less good Peachtree Road album and his most recent solo effort, The Captain and the Kid. On this album, he's crafted songs primarily for himself and piano - and the excellent session musicians and TBone production provide sensitive back-up to this approach. It has resulted in a cohesive suite of relatively sparse, excellent, but piano-rich tracks, far removed from the heavily arranged norm. What some people would consider the "EJ sound" is markedly absent here, and the album is all the better for it. The songs (based on a set of Taupin lyrics that among his best) are honest, rootsy and non-commercial. They are a breath of fresh air and befit an artist of EJ's age and rich musical heritage.

Among the real highlights for me are Oceans Away, Oscar Wilde Gets Out, The Ballad of Blind Tom, Voyeur, The Diving Board, the outstanding instrumental Dream #3, and Can't Stay Alone Tonight (a vastly superior country song that shows what Turn the Lights Out from the Peachtree album could have been with more rigorous quality control and musical de-cluttering).

This album is so surprising ... it harks back to the days when the Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau, Don't Shoot Me, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou, Captain Fantastic, Rock of the Westies and Blue Moves albums all sounded completely different to each other showed progression and versatility. I suspect that this album will one that I will go back to again and again in years to come, just like Madman Across the Water and in contrast with most of EJ's recent output.

Five stars and well deserved!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the one., 28 Sep 2013
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This is the one..........
On the first play maybe one or two tracks may grab you!
After that the whole masterpiece will absorb the listener ......and take no prisoners.
The free download of 5th avenue will just complete the experience .
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