Monday, November 15, 2010



Oh God I want to love this album. First off, it's Elton, and say want you want, with every disc he puts out, I'm desperately hoping he can recapture the Tumbleweed Connection/Madman Across The Water sound. He's been trying to do that for his last several studio albums, but with limited results. Then, it's Leon. I love Leon Russell, and have since the Carney album of 1972. By now if you have any interest in this project, you've no doubt heard the story of Elton searching out his old hero in obscurity, and rescuing him for this new disc with producer T-Bone Burnett. Good on ya, Elton, you're right, Russell is somebody we should hear from again.
So, I want to love this album, but I can only like it. It all sounds great, with Russell and John in fine voice, and sounding excellent together. It is a true collaborative effort, with the duo trading lead and harmony vocals, and the co-writes coming from combinations of the Russell/John/Taupin partnership. You can hear Bernie and Elton striving to find that classic Tumbleweed sound, and coming oh so close. The best efforts are on ballads such as The Best Part Of The Day, Russell and John trading verses and singing the chorus together, and Elton has always had a deft hand at crafting emotional piano numbers. Russell brings some of his gospel boogie to the mix, which helps get a bit of tempo to the thing, but it's long and heavy on slower songs. So, there's nothing to complain about, except an overall lack of a couple of killer tracks. I do take pleasure in hearing Leon sing again, it has been missing in my listening life, and a co-write with Taupin, I Should Have Sent Roses, is up there with some of his best songs, such as A Song For You and This Masquerade. Recommended, but I wonder what could have happened if they had waited and worked until they had two more solid rockers? So close.

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