A Foreign Review of “The Union”

First of all, it’s absolutely great to see The 22nd Row back! Please, don’t go away again, we all EJ fans miss this piece of info too much!

On to a foreign review of The Union, from Brazil:

This album is still on “pre sale” (for Dec 6) here. So, once again, EJ gets ignored in Brazil. I was lucky enough to get my deluxe edition copy shortly after its release in the U.S. and had a very positive feeling about the whole album. Elton’s voice is in sharp contrast with Leon’s and has remained a lot more in shape after all these years. But it is OK, as someone pointed out, change is good and I can’t ignore this was Elton’s first album to reach Top 5 in over 30 years. And please forgive me fr sinning but Elton’s voice today is MUCH BETTER than its younger “version”.

My first impression of  The Union was “Hmm, Tumbleweed Connection revisited, seasoned with bits and pieces of Peachtree Road.” This overall impression quickly faded, as the album production stood out more and more. The backup singers shine and the dueling pianos are just lovely to hear.

If It Wasn’t For Bad is one of my wife’s favorite tracks and I like it too, but it doesn’t really rank too high with me. Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes makes me think of EJ’s shoes, but that’s not the point of the song.  Hey Ahab could have received more attention and creativity, as it repeats the chorus way too much and the backing singers do exaggerate a little in their “shrieking”.  Gone To Shiloh had me flying to Wikipedia to learn what it was they were singing about (no, U.S. History is not a regular subject here, sorry…).

I won’t bother you with a track-for-track review, but must mention that When Love Is Dying is definitely my favorite track and that it SHOULD be released as a single and to radios all over the world – even if just to mean some money for the EJAF – as it is EJ the baladeer right at home.

My second favorite is Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody). Yes, I DO like EJ’s ballads and easy listening songs.

The tracks I jump over and don’t really like are I Should Have Sent Roses, There’s No Tomorrow and In The Hands of Angels.

Overall, a very good album that “migrated” to my iPhone library (except for the three tracks above) and gets played all the time. I give an 8.5 out of 10, which puts it side-by-side with The Captain & The Kid with earned an 8.

A couple questions for the audience:
  • How did EJ band felt about being “left out” of The Union? Any comments, interviews…?
  • Couldn’t Elton re-release his latest three new material albums reworked by T-Bone Burnett?
  • Will they play tracks from The Union in the “EJ and Band” concerts?
Thanks for your time!
Fernando

This entry was posted in Album Discussions, The Union, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply