Unusually thoughtful but morbid
Elton’s 30th album finds him in reflective mood. There are no ‘Crocodile Rock’ or ‘I’m Still Standing’ stompers here. Christ, even ‘Candle In The Wind’ was upbeat in comparison. He’s gone back to his roots – it’s piano and percussion only. “I’m watching you, I’m watching you“, he sings on lonely honky-tonk skit ‘Voyeur’ (but it’s OK, he’s not stalking anyone, just reflecting on his life as a singer). The album’s called ‘The Diving Board’ because Elton is ‘diving’ through memories of his career – and as allegories go, he takes this one to breaking point. He’s no Marcel Proust, but full credit for producing what’s an unusually thoughtful album in contemporary pop music terms. Even if it is a bit morbid.