Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Elton John is a pretty dynamic musical figure. I’m sure you’re imagining platform shoes, oversized, diamond-encrusted sunglasses, an obnoxious, sparkling jumpsuit and the finest piano money could buy-that’s Elton’s image. Famous songs, such as “Crocodile Rock,” don’t exactly scream “sophisticated” or even close to “serious.” His piano-pop is known because it’s light and fun and just plain enjoyable. With The Captain and the Kid, Elton John proves to be deeper than you think.
Elton John teams up once again with his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, to create this milestone of an album. John and Taupin’s first release was made more than 30 years ago and it was a number one, multi-platinum record known as Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. This new release, in the words of Elton, “[.]is a celebration of our lives and our lifetimes, of our music and of the music we love. The Captain and the Kid continues our story.”
With a sentimental background to this album to begin with, it was only fitting that John and Taupin decided to create the record in the tradition of the 1960s and 1970s, when music was more of a celebration of voice than of profit and a cohesive culture was dominant over a monetary one. The Captain and the Kid is supposed to pick up, almost immediately, where their first album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, left off. This album unfolds like a storybook.
“Postcards from Richard Nixon” is obviously a call to the time of his administration and the societal issues faced at the time. Lyrics of war and scandal are scattered throughout this uppity, yet profound track. It’s catchy and fun, but holds a truthful point to it, kind of like Sir Elton himself.
As the album progresses, John doesn’t hold anything back or leave any stone unturned. My favorite track, hands down, “Tinderbox,” delves not only into America’s recent “culture of fear,” but also into almost every issue we’ve had to deal with in the past six years ranging from the tragedies of 9/11 to immigration restrictions. It’s got a country twang to it and the lyrics are too powerful to describe. It is John and Taupin at their finest!
We’re half-way through this storybook and it just keeps getting better. “And the House Fell Down” is raw bliss (a party song that’s almost show-tuney) but mind you, we’re listening to Elton John. This song is perhaps the most reminiscent of Elton’s early works- goofy and all too fitting with that shimmery get-up.
“The Blues Never Fade Away” and “Bridge” are much more somber numbers holding serious messages. Not to say these tracks are less enjoyable, but they don’t fall into that colorful shade of Elton that seems to follow his image wherever he goes.
The closing track, which happens to be the title track, sums up in total the purpose and meaning of The Captain and the Kid, and with that, our storybook comes to a close. After 10 memorable tracks, Elton John and his pal Bernie Taupin have proved that it may be 30 years since their initial release, but their style, ideals and passions have not aged a minute. Listening to this album can actually be quite emotional, especially for those of you who hold Elton quite dear. This album deserves more than credit and respect due to longevity of the artists behind the wheel; this album is a slice of genius that recent artists could just never achieve. Kudos, to the Captain and the Kid.

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