During the Emmy Awards, a show which was not merely a train wreck but a train-crashing-through-the-walls-of-the-station disaster, one of the most glaringly WTF moments came when Michael Douglas and Matt Damon strained credulity by insisting that Elton John’s new single “Home Again” fit in so thematically well with their film about Liberace. Not that “Home Again” is a bad song. Far from it. It’s actually a gorgeous ballad with elegant music, strongly impressionistic lyrics, and a haunting arrangement which allows touches of horns and choir to sneak in like the memories of the past Sir Elton sings about. And the performance was superb, as one could expect from one of the world’s premier showmen. It just had nothing to do with anything being honored on stage that night. WHY it was there seems to stem, in my opinion, from a tsunami of positive reactions, mostly from middle-aged critics at all of the major media sources, regarding his new album The Diving Board, released this past week.
I was intrigued by The Diving Board mostly because of the tone of these reviews; over and over again from Rolling Stone to The Wall Street Journal the aforementioned critics declared it “a comeback…his best album since the seventies” and variations thereof over and over again.
This worried me.