Elton John, The Fox

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 09.24.12 in Reviews

The Fox

Elton John

There’s a simple reason why much of 1981′s dire Elton disc sounds just like 21 at 33, only worse: Half of it is that album’s outtakes. Hot from his work with the Pretenders, Chris Thomas brings a New Wave flavor that would’ve clashed with the older cuts overseen by Kiki Dee producer Clive Franks had the material been more distinctive. The buried gem here is “Elton’s Song.” With lyrics by rocker Tom Robinson, who broke ground in 1978 with his own “Glad to Be Gay,” it’s sung from the perspective of a schoolboy besotted with a male classmate. Compare the realness and delicacy of this with everything else; it’s from a different world completely, one in which the singer genuinely cares.