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The Diving Board

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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.
From the Publisher
Capitol Records is proud to announce the release of Elton John’s The Diving Board , the artist’s first solo studio album in seven years. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by the artist.

The Diving Board returns Elton John to the piano, bass and drums lineup that marked the artist’s introduction to worldwide audiences more than 40 years ago.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/24/2013
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 602537452804
  • Catalog Number: 001866802
  • Sales rank: 3,161

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elton John Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Bruce Fowler Trombone
Larry Goldings Hammond B3
Louis Price Background Vocals
Jack Ashford Tambourine
Bill Cantos Background Vocals
Alvin Chea Background Vocals
Chuck Findley Flugelhorn
Darrell Leonard Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Bass Trumpet
Perry Morgan Background Vocals
Ira Nepus Trombone
William Roper Tuba
Rose Stone Background Vocals
Jay Bellerose Drums
Raphael Saadiq Bass
Doyle Bramhall II Guitar
George Bohanon Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone Horn
Carmel Echols Background Vocals
Judith Hill Background Vocals
Keefus Ciancia Keyboards
Stjepan Hauser Cello
Luka Sulic Cello
Technical Credits
Elton John Composer
T Bone Burnett Producer
Darrell Leonard Horn Arrangements
Bill Maxwell Vocal Arrangements
Bernie Taupin Composer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Jason Wormer Engineer
Mat Maitland Art Direction
Zachary Dawes Equipment Technician
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