Elton John, A Single Man

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 09.24.12 in Reviews

A Single Man

Elton John
Ostensibly pleasant but spiritually depressed

After years of releasing new albums nearly every six months, Elton let two years pass between 1976′s Blue Moves and his first disc without Bernie, producer Gus Dudgeon and most of his core players. Gone are the byzantine abstractions and dense arrangements that defined those collaborations. They’re replaced by piano pop that’s ostensibly pleasant but spiritually depressed. Both vocally and instrumentally, Elton isn’t all there, and drab lyricist Gary Osborne can’t compensate. He sounds comfiest on the least consequential material — gossamer ballad “Shooting Star” and weirdly cool and totally gay B-side bonus cut “Flinstone Boy,” which sounds like the Scissor Sisters sounding like him.