Elton is leaping off the deep end
The Diving Board
Elton John has been quite prolific in recent years, but early reports calling this album – his 30th – a return to this early 1970s heyday are wildly off the mark.
The Diving Board is a stripped-back affair in which Elton's voice is fore-grounded, but the songs don't come close to the wonderful confessional ballads of his youth – or even the loftier ruminations of more recent years.
His long-time song-writing partner Bernie Taupin seems to have a bad day in the office and there is no shortage of tired lyrical couplets throughout. Taupin's observations about the ageing process and memories veer dangerously close to the bleedin' obvious.
There are exceptions. Voyeur comes close to classic Elton – and his voice carries great heft, while the single, Home Again, is a reminder of that the chemistry between these collaborators is still there.
Key track: Voyeur