Diving Board CD (2013)

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Product Overview

Specifications

Label Universal Music Group
SKU 254164433
UPC 602537452804
UPC 14 00602537452804
Format CD
Release Date 9/24/2013
Links
Author Elton John
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Technical Info
Engineer Jason Wormer
Producer T-Bone Burnett
CatalogID B 001866802
Lable Name Capitol
Released 2013
Original Release 2013
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
UPC 00602537452804
Album Notes and Credits
Audio Mixer: Jason Wormer.
Recording information: The Village, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Tim Barber.
So the story goes like this. Inspired by their work on the Leon Russell duet album The Union, producer T-Bone Burnett encouraged Elton John to return to making albums like he used to in the old days for 2013's The Diving Board, harking back to the days when he wrote quickly and recorded with little more than a rhythm section. This all sounds like a major shift in aesthetic for John, but Elton has been on a decade-long quest to tap into that old magic, beginning his voyage into the past with 2001's Songs from the West Coast and getting progressively elliptical with each subsequent release. The Diving Board does indeed evoke ghosts of Elton past but it never suggests the hits. It's an album consisting almost entirely of songs that riff on "Sixty Years On" and "Rotten Peaches" -- long, languid ballads or open-ended blues-rockers where atmosphere trumps hooks. Occasionally, Elton musters up elongated melodies that eventually catch hold, but The Diving Board isn't a collection of finely sculpted pop; it's a set of song poems and ballads, all placing emphasis on mood, not immediacy. This is an exceptional idea in theory; in practice it is ever so slightly formless, floating whenever it should be taking root. There are moments where the tempo gets ever so slightly sprightly -- "Take This Dirty Water" has a dirty gospel shuffle reminiscent of a toned-down "Take Me to the Pilot," "The Ballad of Blind Tom" is faithful to the spirit of Tumbleweed Connection, "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)" not only rocks but has a welcome gust of tastelessness -- but that only emphasizes just how ponderous the rest of the record is. There is much that is admirable about The Diving Board -- the feel is spacious and haunting, the ambition is commendable -- but the emphasis on tone over song means it leaves only wistful wisps of melancholia behind with the actual songs seeming like faded, distant memories. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.81) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t returns Elton to the kind of spare, country-flavored narrative songs with which he made his name..."
Entertainment Weekly (p.64) - "John reteams with rootsy producer T Bone Burnett, trading Vegas-size pomp for spartan simplicity." -- Grade: B
Mojo (Publisher) (p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "There is much melancholy here, but he sounds comfortable singing songs that carry the weight of experience."
Disc 1
1 Oceans Away
2 Oscar Wilde Gets Out
3 Town Called Jubilee, A
4 Ballad of Blind Tom, The
5 Dream, Pt. 1
6 My Quicksand
7 Can't Stay Alone Tonight
8 Voyeur
9 Home Again
10 Take This Dirty Water
11 Dream, Pt. 2
12 New Fever Waltz, The
13 Mexican Vacation (Kids In the Candlelight)
14 Dream, Pt. 3
15 Diving Board, The
Product Attributes
Artist John,Elton
Label Universal Music Group

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