Elton John – Wonderful Crazy Night
It is one thing to break into the musical mainstream, but to sustain your position as a universally loved musician is a far more difficult proposition. Wonderful Crazy Night, the 32nd studio album from British legend Elton John, marks a strong statement of purpose to renew both his prolonged career and the sound world of his nostalgic days.
Title track Wonderful Crazy Night is as engaging as its buoyant façade. The song drives through a bubbly gospel-coloured piano rock vibe with bright organs, jaunty piano harmonies, exuberant solo passages and the soulful vocals of John reminiscing about beautiful past memories. From the high-tempo overture, John winds down in tracks like Blue Wonderful. which ambles through a soothing mid-tempo rock ballad filled with jangling guitar effects and a gentle chorus, cocooned with rich backing vocals.
Music is often said to provoke vivid imaginings in the minds of its listeners. I’ve Got 2 Wings sees John’s long-lasting lyrical companion Bernie Taupin attract the spotlight with his poetic narrative about Reverend Utah Smith. The music paints a landscape of Southern America with John’s evocative vocals, and backdrop of gentle accordion, mahogany guitar and bass. Similarly, penultimate number Tambourine is fit for a scene of retro Americana on a suburban railway platform.
The album is sporadically injected with the odd surprise, most notably in Claw Hammer, where mysterious cascading colours offset the warm and “rootsy” rock vibe. By contrast, Looking Up hurls an unashamedly foot-tapping rock ’n’ roll sensation that vitalises both the 50s and today’s listeners with dazzling piano riffs, a vintage-coloured rhythm entourage and John’s never-ending vocal energy.
Overall, Wonderful Crazy Night may not be the record to boost your catalogue, nor transcend popular music of today. Nevertheless, despite it lacking a standout track that should headline the record, the album carries a timeless appeal and authenticity that would comfort many Elton John enthusiasts.
Wonderful Crazy Night is released on February 5th 2016, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Watch the video for Blue Wonderful here: