The story of this unlikely yet intriguing collaboration goes like this: Elton John liked what he heard of Australian dance duo Pnau's groovy beats and hip grooves when he heard them in 2007. And now, the elder statesman of rock and pop has given Peter Mayes and Nick Littlemore (also a member of Empire of the Sun) license to have their way with many of his old songs from 1970-76. The result is a small but beautifully dancey collection of sparkling and feelgood remixes and reimaginings which this week earned John his first British No. 1 album in 22 years.
Pnau have been producing stylish and smooth beats as far back as 2000 when they released their excellent debut Sambanova.
So while Good Morning to the Night has its feet firmly planted on the dance floor, the songs still retain the trippy, star-gazing 70s integrity of the originals. The opening title track, with the line "turn around and say good morning to the night" (off John's 1972 song Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters from Honky Chateau), is transitory as the ebbing beats take off. Then the brassy outbursts and posturing keyboards of Black Icy Stare (like Tupac's California Love meets John's oddball ditty Solar Prestige A Gammon from 1974) adds some dramatic weight to the record, and the chilled Telegraph to the Afterlife is akin to Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.
This album should possibly not be this good, but it is.
Verdict: Elton's Aussie mates make his old songs dance.
- TimeOutBy Scott Kara @scottkara Email Scott