Album review: Elton John, The Diving Board

By Graham Reid

Add a comment

The resurrection of Elton John continues as he approves of younger talent (recently praising Lorde) and gets remade/remixed by Pnau, yet also hooks up with 70-something Leon Russell and goes all Las Vegas at Caesar's Palace.

Here again with long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin (and produced by T-Bone Burnett), the piano-man and pals don't adjust the successful template of his classic period on the early 70s albums (Tumbleweed Connection to Caribou) where the imagery sometimes alludes to Americana. And although they don't crack another Tiny Dancer or Madman Across the Water, you can't help admire the confidence the 66-year-old brings to muscular pieces such as The Ballad of Blind Tom, the groove-riding swing 'n' backbeat of Can't Stay Alone Tonight and the funky sing-along Mexican Vacation.

Sometimes he leans towards the melodramatic (Voyeur) when restraint might have served better (as it does on the poetic My Quicksand or Home Again). But this shines at that familiar point between down-home blues and gospel (Take This Dirty Water, A Town Called Jubilee). His brief piano interludes - especially Dream #3 - hint at another possible direction but for now the old recipes still work, although hit singles no longer leap out.

Stars: 3.5/5
Verdict: Sing us a song, you're the other piano man
Click here to buy The Diving Board by Elton John

Follow @nzherald_ent on Twitter for all the latest entertainment news.

- TimeOut /

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2015, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 Nov 2015 15:14:56 Processing Time: 519ms