Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Elton John The Captain And The Kid 2006

I was always a sucker for Elton John, and I have grown to love all of his output from 1970-1976. He's also recently made some monumental comeback records like Songs From The West Coast 2001, Peachtree Road 2004, and this most recent one. The Captain And The Kid attempts to pick up where Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy 1975 left off, and remarkably, it mostly succeeds.

I know it's hard to believe, but Elton's currently on a tear. And this one is remarkable in it's continuation of the original 1975 song cycle. Postcards From Richard Nixon and Just Like Noah's Ark are solid mid-tempo rockers, Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way is a love ballad to NYC, Tinderbox recalls Someone Saved My Life Tonight (with a completely different rhythm), And The House Fell Down, I Must Have Heard It On The Wind, and Old 67 are all solid rockers and Elton sounds great. He's clearly inspired by Bernie Taupin's excellent lyrics, and the team sounds as great as ever.

The Blues Never Fade Away is a perfect Elton ballad, with an easy to take personal message, and a hook-heavy chorus. The record closes with The Captain and The Kid, a remarkably twisted rewrite of Captain Fantastic that you can only get away with if you wrote the original.

It's almost as good as the original that inspired it. It's considerably better than anything Elton did during the twenty years between 1978 and 1997, and with the two before it, an amazing return to form from one of the better songwriting duos in rock and roll. If you liked him in the mid seventies, one of these new ones deserves your attention.

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