[b]Post reviews for "The Captain and The Kid"[/b]

This is a special forum created for discussion of Elton John's new album "The Captain and The Kid" which is destined to be a classic!
They must have the whole thing planned...
Joined: 18 Jul 2001, 21:54

28 Aug 2006, 13:14 #1

Lets post just reviews in this thread. No discussion, they will be removed.
by David Buckley
"ELTON JOHN can, so it seems, do anything he likes. A national treasure, at almost 60 he's the nearest the rock world has to a Grade One Listed Building. After 35 years at the top, he simply cannot be touched. He can be amusingly candid about fellow pop stars without fear of censure, he can
swear on daytime television with equal impunity, he can tell of his disappointment over Live 8, and he can voice the nation's dissatisfaction with their football team with the authority of an absolute monarch.
Songs From The West Coast, Elton's dramatic return to form in 2001, saw him strip back the clunk and clatter of his '80s and '90s productions to reveal the basic sonic core of the Elton sound - piano, vocal. The strategy was continued through the less impressive Peachtree Road, and finds its natural conclusion on The Captain And The Kid, his 29th studio album of original material (the press release boasts 44, but who's counting?).
Here, Elton is in supremely confident mood, while at the sametime very unprotected indeed. In fact, there seems to be very little production on the record at all. Yet it is this, the album's major flaw, that is likely to be praised in some quarters as its greatest strength. But this isn't, as some
might claim, a return to the classic sound of the '70s. Elton's songs have often been written in frantic spells before but, in the '70s, the sweeteners and detail of the production always gave depth to the music. Today, there's a curious demo-like quality to the sound.
This caveat aside, what more than saves the day here is a better-than-good melodic performance from Elton, and an outstanding set of lyrics by Bernie Taupin. The Captain And The Kid has the sort of narrative weight seldom found elsewhere today. The concept - namely that of a sequel to 1975's "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" - was suggested by Elton's current manager, Merck Mercuriadis. "Captain Fantastic" contained a formidable set of Elton melodies married seamlessly to lyrics which saw Taupin critique the emergent music scene of the late '60s, a time when the would-be star and the teenage lyricist broke free of the constraints of hip London with their 'tra-la-las and la-de-das'. The sequel attempts, perhaps over-ambitiously in just 10 songs, to bring the story up to date, from the
original's point of closure (roughly around the time of Elton's first album in 1969, "Empty Sky&quotImage to the present day, a present in which Taupin has become the Brown Dirt Cowboy, raising and training cutting horses on his estate in California, while Elton is nothing if not Captain Fantastic. If the original album was in part about prophecy, the sequel is a mature, and at times deeply moving, analysis of what went right and what went wrong.
The Captain And The Kid opens jauntily with Elton and Bernie's arrival in America. Postcards From Richard Nixon's honky-tonk piano run is a signature moment, Taupin's lyrics depicting the wide-eyed wonderment of their first
engagement with the American Dream during the crisis of Vietnam and Watergate. The love affair with all things American continues in the soaring ballad Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way (NYC). But it's the fourth track, Tinderbox, which is the real gem: a lyric which details the huge pressures
the partnership encountered at the very height of their international fame set to one of Elton's best ever melodies. Tinderbox is proof that, perhaps alone among his contemporaries, Elton still has the ability to write a
brilliant four-minute pop song.
Taupin is on top form throughout, smoothly weaving two or three major themes into one song, as the story of success and hedonistic excess gives way to middle age and poignant reflection on the rock business. Blues Never Fades
Away is a moving song about AIDS victims while The Bridge, lyrically the pivotal song on the album, seems to comment on the tasks faced by all music stars as they move from youthful iconicity to maturity. There's humour too:
Elton's dog, Arthur, makes a guest appearance on the bluesy rock of Just Like Noah's Ark, while I Must Have Lost It On The Wind looks back wryly on relationships (and plenty of them) which obviously came part and parcel with international fame."
"...if we all believe in the things you believe you're seeing..." EJ/BT '76The Crazy Water Community

"...if we all believe in the things you believe you're seeing..."
EJ/BT '76

Elton John: The Crazy Water Community

Elton John News Blog

Hello, baby hello...
Joined: 12 Jun 2003, 23:04

28 Aug 2006, 15:17 #2

Billboard Review
The Bridge
ELTON JOHNProducer(s): Elton John, Matt Still
Genre: POP
Label: Rocket/Mercury
Breathtakingly simple and heartfelt, "The Bridge" is Elton John's most affecting single in years. The first release from upcoming "The Captain and the Kid" (a concept album that bookends 1975's "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy") is just John and piano with a touch of haunting vocal echo and a well-placed background layer. The lyric addresses human crossroads where tough choices are made: "Every one of us has to face the day/Do you cross the bridge or do you fade away?" John has certainly never lost relevancy with adults, but there is a sense of renewal and purpose here that is striking. One listen is enough to bring tears to sentimental eyes. So many years, so many songs, and this beloved artist still makes it matter. Splendid. Chuck Taylor
About.com review of The Bridge
4 out of 5 stars
*Elton John solo vocals with piano
*A few atmospheric backing vocals
*Engaging melody that takes only a few listens to sink in
31 years ago Elton John released an album co-written with Bernie Taupin titled Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Coming on the heels of 7 straight top 5 pop singles, the album debuted at #1 on the US album chart. It was a first in the US and a high-water mark of Elton John's pop success. The upcoming album The Captain and the Kid is a sequel to that classic. This is the first single from the project.

Guide Review - Elton John - The Bridge
30+ years ago in the early and mid-1970's, Elton John and Bernie Taupin composed emotional songs about difficult relationships, drugs, parties, and fantasies of cowboys and American culture. For 2 men thrust into the world of pop superstars in their early and mid 20's, these would seem understandable topics of concern. Now, as both men are approaching the age of 60, the topic is of a more eternal, transcendent nature. "Do you cross the bridge or do you fade away?"
The philosophical musings in "The Bridge" are set in a simple, stripped-down proudction focused on Elton John and his solo piano. When compared with his classic work of the 70's, Elton has acquired an intentionally more dramatic style of vocalizing which can come off as somewhat of an affectation in such a simple song as this. At their best, the inherent lyrical and musical drama of a John-Taupin classic song eliminates any need for dressing up the vocals.
This is a relatively minor quibble, however, as "The Bridge" is one of Elton John's finest songs in many years. Frequently, the lyrics and music both soar leading the target listeners, fans who have aged alongside Elton John and Bernie Taupin, to moments of reflection and consideration of the next steps ahead. John and Taupin are pulled, in the end, by a muse saying "Come risk it all or die trying."

Stripped down production featuring Elton and his piano
Simple, elegantly meaningful lyrics
Unnecessary ornamentation in vocals
Boston Herald Review
The Captain is back
By Brett Milano/ Now Hear This!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - Updated: 10:50 AM EST
Elton John
The Bridge
Interscope | Critic: B
The first offering from Sir Eltons forthcoming The Captain and the Kid, his sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, couldnt be any more different from the 1975 albums single, Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Instead of a six-minute epic, this is a bare-bones piano ballad with lyricist Bernie Taupin getting even more philosophical than usual. Eltons voice sounds weathered but resonant; and the uncluttered sound is a welcome change. But this song seems more like a good album track than the knockout single one would hope for. - BRETT MILANO
[email protected]
"I thank the Lord for the people I have found" EJ+BT 1972

well known gun
Hello, baby hello...
Joined: 12 Jul 2005, 19:55

05 Sep 2006, 12:42 #3

Q gives it 4 stars
a few quotes
" taken as a whole, this is Elton's best album since, well, Captain Fantastic..itself.
"Britain's greatest living singer songwriter is shrewdley taking one step back to take two forward."

Now she rolls like the dice...
Joined: 12 Aug 2006, 03:54

05 Sep 2006, 15:19 #4

Any other highlights from the Q review? How long was it? Just a couple paragraphs, or did it warrant a chunk of a page?Liz Rosenthal
"His Song"

Back then, I was handsome...
Joined: 19 Aug 2006, 23:09

05 Sep 2006, 17:14 #5

Greatest living British singer-songwriter, and his best since CF; very complimentary, but still only 4 stars. Quite predictable rating, really. Will any music mag have the guts to give 5? Frightened of raising eyebrows, worried about their credibility? It was never exactly cool to give him 5 even in 70's heyday

On a bench, on the beach...
Joined: 17 Aug 2003, 19:30

05 Sep 2006, 20:23 #6

Sadly, only 2 stars from Uncut magazine. It's an odd review, seemingly predisposed to dislike the album. Which is a shame, because 'Uncut' is normally pretty good. Ah well, win some, lose some."...how wonderful life is while you're in the world."
"...how wonderful life is while you're in the world."

Back then, I was handsome...
Joined: 20 Mar 2003, 13:15

05 Sep 2006, 22:06 #7

Just to remind you, the beginning post says to just post reviews of Captain and the Kid on this thread, not have big discussions about the reviews. I think this thread has a sticky because it is devoted to just the reviews that come out.
I'm not going to delete the discussion posts at this point, because they are interesting, etc, but I thought I should do a little reminder, as we seem to have lost the original point of the thread.
wise man say
it looks like rain today
it crackled on the speakers
and trickled down the sleepy subway train
(elton/ bernie)
there's treasure children always seem to find
and just like us, you must have had a once upon a time
(elton/ bernie)

Back then, I was handsome...
Joined: 19 Aug 2006, 23:09

06 Sep 2006, 06:45 #8

Can anyone post the Uncut review then? We're all eager!

well known gun
Hello, baby hello...
Joined: 12 Jul 2005, 19:55

06 Sep 2006, 07:15 #9

Hi Liz
The Q review is just over half a page including a recent Elton photo.
The headline is 'Captain Marvel- His best album in 30 years. No, really.''
It begins discussing the resurrection of the careers of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and talking about renewed inspiration.
It also says TCATK brings a 'deeper...emotional resonnance' than SFTWC and PTR.
It states it's flaws 'Taupin is no political satirist' about postcards to Nixon.
Finally it says his recent work shows he still has relevance to comptemporary pop.
Sorry I can't reproduce it, but I'm a 1 finger typist!Image
Re the uncut review, I agree that the concept of a follow up just put off the reviewer. He said almost nothing about the records content.

On a bench, on the beach...
Joined: 17 Aug 2003, 19:30

06 Sep 2006, 09:13 #10

Do the criticisms mirror at all the criticisms on here?
I'd like to answer this question, since it has already been asked.
This is the thing, it doesn't really reflect the criticisms on here, at least not with any particular sense that there is any thought behind it.
It does say that the album is not melodic enough, but in doing so makes a lazy comparison to the original Captain Fantastic being the least 'hooky' of Elton's albums.
I'm not against people not liking things and giving honest reviews, as such. But as I said, with a luke-warm predisposition to the orginal, the tone of the review felt already weighted against the album."...how wonderful life is while you're in the world."
"...how wonderful life is while you're in the world."