For those critics and fans who have labeled the album as a return to form, I would argue that the album is a step in a new direction. It seems that Elton John has found a new compositional method in which he utilizes his piano in the lead role as a compliment to his lead vocals. The song that this new style is most apparent on is the track “Looking Up.” The song begins with a retrained blues guitar riff before the rest of the band dives into the mix. The piano slowly begins to participate before it blows us away with a creative piano lick that becomes the heart of the song. Utilizing the piano riff as the song’s chorus is a creative technique that Elton has rarely used. It works beautifully and sounds completely fresh.
The recording of “Looking Up,” is a reflection of Elton John’s desire to stay relevant and continue to write great pop music. The is not an oldies act looking to rest on past glory and simply perform concerts filled with songs written twenty years ago. Elton John is a songwriter at heart. True songwriters never stop writing. Its who they are, its what they do, until their last breath. Elton John’s news album is brilliant because its a step forward. It’s an amazing collection of fresh sounding original content that will cause Elton John fans to drop to their knees in praise while Looking Up to one of the greatest songwriters of the past fifty years.