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  • Elton John's new album is a superior piece of work, but he's getting no play on radio.

    Elton John’s new album is a superior piece of work, but he’s getting no play on radio.

    Elton John’s latest album, The Diving Board is his first solo album in six years and first recording since his collaboration with Leon Russell and T. Bone Burnett (The Union) in 2006. Needless to say, we’re loving it.

    But the pop icon seems to be trapped in an interesting dynamic for so-called legacy artists.

    Record labels are always reluctant to have them record new material, because the vanishing classic rock stations only play the tried-and-true hits.

    Here in New York City, I heard some of the new music from Paul McCartney–his album New is just out–but I have yet to hear any of John’s new music.

    That’s a big loss, as this one will, and already has, racked up some impressive notices.

    The first track that jumps out at you is “Oscar Wilde Gets Out,” which lyrically (thanks Bernie Taupin) is spot-on dazzling.

    The innovative piano work is classic Elton.

    Let’s not forget John was a brilliant session pianist (Long John Baldry and Bluesology) even before he became a star and clearly this song shows he still is.

    The album’s first single “Home Again,” is a revelation for the lyrics about return and renewal as well as the minimalist instrumental work. The video to this song is a worthy accompaniment and actually one of the more thought-provoking music videos to come out of late.

    I remember the first music videos, yes, on MTV; they were more or less performance videos, but when the serious videos started coming along, they really did add to the song. This one does that brilliantly.

    “Can’t Stay Alone Tonight” is perhaps the album’s hidden gem. Gorgeous and perfect; it’s more than a reminder of the great songs the John/Taupin cannon has produced. The lyrics are spot-on:

    “You’re the last chance on the highway
    I’m that open stretch of road
    You’re the diner in my rear-view
    A cup of coffee getting cold.”

    We also loved “Mexican Vacation” and the instrumental “Dream #1.”

    John plans to promote the album with a tour before heading back to his residency in Las Vegas. Check out the video above.

    Names in the News

    Roger Friedman, James Edstrom, Lee Jeske, Timothy White, Keith Girard, Tom Silverman, David Salidor, Manny Bella, Cory Robbins, Kent Kotal, Donna Quinter, Jacqueline Boyd, Mark Berry, Mark Bego, Tony Noto, Tony King, Fran Curtis, Steve Leeds, Mark Strickland, Joel Diamond, Brad LeBeau, Brett Winterble, Zach Martin, Sasha Grey, Paul Mormando, Jerry Lembo