Songs From the West Coast At once a throwback and a move forward, Songs From the West Coast reunites Elton John with lyricist Bernie Taupin and hooks him up with… Songs From the West Coast At once a throwback and a move forward, Songs From the West Coast reunites Elton John with lyricist Bernie Taupin and hooks him up with… 2001-10-02 Elton John Elton John Pop
Review

Songs From the West Coast (2001)

Elton John | JOHN NE SAIS QUOI Elton and songwriting pal Taupin conjure their magic on a nostalgic trip ''West''
Image credit: Elton John: Sam Taylor-Wood
JOHN NE SAIS QUOI Elton and songwriting pal Taupin conjure their magic on a nostalgic trip ''West''
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Oct 02, 2001; Lead Performances: Elton John and Elton John; Genre: Pop

At once a throwback and a move forward, Songs From the West Coast reunites Elton John with lyricist Bernie Taupin and hooks him up with vocalists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Rufus Wainwright. If the opener, ''The Emperor's New Clothes,'' reminds old fans of 1970's ''Your Song,'' it's supposed to: Its stark piano-and-vocal arrangement (deployed frequently throughout the CD) is there to prove John's undimmed vocal power. As usual, Taupin's lyrics are cluttered and clichéd -- John has always used them as strings of metered syllables to hang his emotions on. This is problematic when Taupin has an actual subject to address, such as homophobia in ''American Triangle,'' but liberating for Elton elsewhere: This is his most nuanced, openhearted, and headlong collection in years.

Originally posted Oct 01, 2001