Elton John’s latest album is intriguing to listen to as it can’t be easily defined into one particular category – embracing all genres of music.
Creating music during 2020 certainly forced artists and musicians alike to find innovative ways to create new albums – but in doing so allows them to really embrace new possibilities of the industry. This is something that is very much on display on Elton John’s intriguing new album that is filled to the brim with ideas and experimental sounds – some of which work more successfully than others.
The intent of the album is very much clear from the opening track ‘Cold Heart’ on which John collaborates with Dua Lipa. I loved the way in which this remix (by Pnau) incorporates elements of well know hits ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘Sacrifice’ for example. It is a bold and uplifting start to an album that is bold and confident from start to finish.
Equally strong and charismatic songs to listen to are collaborations with Surfaces on ‘Learn to Fly’ that is filled with hope and positivity, a gorgeous rendition of ‘Chosen Family’ featuring Rina Sawayama is beautifully heartfelt as is ‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’ with Glen Campbell. Each song has a wonderful simplicity to it that makes it a pleasure to listen to. But just as powerful is ‘E-Ticket’ featuring Eddie Vedder – which is a stand out track from being an all out rock song that really knocks you off your feet when listening to it – a real contrast to the other songs on the album.
This is what makes this album such an engaging one to listen to – you are never fully sure of what you are going to get next. While on some occasions it works better than others, with songs such as ‘Orbit’ and ‘The Pink Phantom’ feeling a little bit odd, you still find plenty of surprises including ‘It’s a Sin’ with Years & Years proving that this is a collaboration that really works (so more collaborations from them both would be very much welcome).
The sheer volume of collaborations on this album is extraordinary to the point it is in danger of being completely overwhelming. However, it does have to be said its ambition is impressive and keeps the listener intrigued about the unexpected twists and turns that it takes along the way.
The Lockdown Sessions is a really unexpected but enjoyable album – worth a listen.
By Emma Clarendon
The lockdown Sessions is available to buy and download now.