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Elton John - The Lockdown Sessions (Album Review)

Tuesday, 02 November 2021 Written by Jacob Brookman

Elton John has crammed several lives into his 74 years, but despite this he remains a remarkably down-to-earth presence both in interviews and his hugely popular Apple Music radio show. For his latest album, the British superstar has brought together a wide array of musical talent, including similar grandees such as Eddie Vedder and Stevie Nicks alongside contemporary stars such as Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus.

The result is an multicoloured smorgasbord of pop cheese, touching high camp on Rina Sawayama’s wonderful queer ballad Chosen Family alongside a take on the Pet Shop Boys’ It’s a Sin. This track is performed with the  Years & Years—aka Olly Alexander—who recently starred in a Channel 4 series of the same name.

It doesn’t all work. The Nicki Minaj collab, also featuring Young Thug, is a bit of a hackneyed trap track landing somewhere between a Hamilton off-cut and the mostly forgotten R&B Phil Collins tribute album, ‘Urban Renewal’. Google it at your peril.

But there are gems in there. Finish Line, featuring Stevie Wonder, is great. It's pitched perfectly for Radio 2’s drivetime and has some genuinely affecting gospel notes. Cyrus’s vocal performance on a cover of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters, meanwhile, is truly captivating.

While this is far from Elton’s best work, ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ does detail a recording artist with renewed focus, energy and imagination as Western society opens its doors post-coronavirus. 

One of the things that makes him such an enduring and popular figure is the different ways in which he reveals his creativity outside of the actual songwriting and performance—the outfits, the interviews and, yes, the collaborations. By using his platform to celebrate and promote other musicians, especially those from the LGBTQ+ community, there is something very compassionate in the music, and we can always do with a little more of that.

Elton John Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed June 15 2022 - NORWICH Carrow Road
Fri June 17 2022 - LIVERPOOL Anfield
Sun June 19 2022 - SUNDERLAND Stadium Of Light
Wed June 22 2022 - BRISTOL Ashton Gate Stadium
Fri June 24 2022 - LONDON Hyde Park
Wed June 29 2022 - SWANSEA Liberty Stadium
Fri July 01 2022 - CORK Pairc Ui Chaoimh
Tue March 28 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena Dublin
Wed March 29 2023 - DUBLIN 3Arena Dublin
Fri March 31 2023 - BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast
Sun April 02 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Tue April 04 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed April 05 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sat April 08 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sun April 09 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed April 12 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Thu April 13 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sun April 16 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Mon April 17 2023 - LONDON O2 Arena
Wed April 19 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Resorts World Arena
Sat April 22 2023 - LIVERPOOL M&S Bank Arena
Sun April 23 2023 - LIVERPOOL M&S Bank Arena
Wed May 31 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Fri June 02 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Sat June 03 2023 - MANCHESTER AO Arena
Tue June 06 2023 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Sat June 10 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena Birmingham
Sun June 11 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Utilita Arena Birmingham
Tue June 13 2023 - ABERDEEN P&J Live
Thu June 15 2023 - ABERDEEN P&J Live
Sat June 17 2023 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Sun June 18 2023 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro

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