The Captain & the Kid Interscope
Music •••• Sound ••••
The real news isn't that Elton John has done a sequel to 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. It's that he's made his third fine album in a row, something that also hasn't happened since around 1975. While the original's lyrics barely covered a one-year period, here Bernie Taupin offers more sweeping thoughts on stardom and survival. But the sound is old-school Elton all the way, with specific echoes of earlier songs. Even Elton's voice, deep and worn in recent years, seems almost like its former self. As usual lately, there's a lack of rockers, but it's been decades since he's put this many strong melodies on one disc.

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