51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
This time you can believe the hype...,
This review is from: The Diving Board [Mint Pack] (Audio CD)
When the news broke that Elton John's next album would be a return to the early days of his recording career I thought to myself where have I heard that before. Oh yes I remember. On just about all of Elton's post 2000 albums something similar has been said about those albums. So when I heard that this album would feature primarily piano, bass and drums with guitar thrown in here and there, which is a return to Elton's early band of himself, Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums, I was not going to let myself get sucked in to the same hype we've heard for the last 12 years or so.
And then I got a hold of a pre-release of the album. I have been listening for a solid week and I am thoroughly enjoying "The Diving Board". What surprises me the most is how well the songs work with the band configuration of a trio. There is an energy that has been lacking on some of Elton's recent work but it is back on this newest album, his first solo album since 2006.
Anyone expecting to hear "The Bitch Is Back" or "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" or are comparing this album to the "classic years" that's just silly and a mistake. Oh he still rocks out in concert but you're not going to get that on new Elton albums these days. That's just not where he is these days.
What I will say is that this album is the best thing he's done since "Songs From The West Coast" and it can stand on its own next to Elton's best work. The up tempo tunes all work. They all pass the skip test. The ballads are what Elton has always done best and he does not disappoint here. "Oceans Away" and "Voyeur" are the standouts for me as well as the single "Home Again". But's it's the up tempo tunes that are what surprised me the most. They carry the album in my opinion. For once the hype is justified.