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Elton John’s The Diving Board, is his first studio album in seven years Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by the artist.

The Diving Board returns Elton John to the piano, bass and drums lineup that marked the artist s introduction to worldwide audiences more than 40 years ago. As Elton explains, In many ways, I feel like I’m starting again, making records. Several years ago when beginning to work with T Bone and being in the studio with Leon Russell for The Union, I had to ask myself, What kind of music do I really want to make? , and I realized that I had to go back to go forward again. I needed to strip away the excesses and get back to the core of what I do as an artist. That’s what The Diving Board represents. The Diving Board is the album I’ve been waiting to make for decades. According to producer T Bone Burnett, The Diving Board is an album of music by a master at the peak of his artistic powers.


“The Diving Board” represents a strong final leg for Elton John’s golden years. While I’m not saying that the guy is going away any time soon, it’s nice to see an artist embrace changing sensibilities that come with age. The initial track “Home Again” didn’t impress me. But, repeat listening sessions allowed the album to grow on me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I’ll be honest and admit that my preferred John era started in 1972 and ended in 1983. But, we’re not getting “Razor Face” again. We’re getting the portrait of the artist as an old man.

Some fans state that Elton John is finally being true to himself. Well, good on him for that. Now, make some catchy radio friendly tunes. I know that sounds a little wrong, but so much of the album are these long tracks about deeper meaning. We had that period with John and I liked it. I just don’t like positing old stand-bys in modern clothing. John’s better than that.

I like it when an album can make me feel so divisive. While I can’t call it one of my favorites of the year, “The Diving Board” will stick with me for awhile. I like where Elton John has been heading since The Union, it’s just that I’m not sure whether or not if he needs help to get there. T Bone Burnett’s awesome, but maybe we need an extra voice to carry Elton John through those later years?



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