There is no denying the musicianship of this Oscar- and Grammy-winning artist. Elton John composes songs steeped in the craft of old-time tunesmithing. His dreamily melodic, catchy-chorus, piano-based writing style has been gobbled up by the public for decades. But as strongly evidenced on this album, his 35th (including greatest-hits records and boxes), John and lyricist Bernie Taupin want to simplify their lives. The one-word titles on all except the title track are indicative of the unadorned sentiments expressed on this collection. MADE IN ENGLAND is John at his most mature--no fantastic Captains or manic Liberace-isms, just a songwriter trying to entertain his audience on that smooth sail without making too many waves.
Beatles producer George Martin adds his special touch on the lushly arranged folk/waltz "Latitude", a sensitive standout. The heavily orchestrated "Belfast" begins like a pretty soundtrack theme but soon turns lyrically sorrowful and dark. MADE IN ENGLAND moves with ease from the passionate ballad "Believe" to the plucky, Tennessee Williams-inspired "Lies", with its bravado ivory tinkling. Spirited pop tunes like the mid-tempo "Please" and pensive ballads like "Cold" are as irresistible as ever, but the singer's excesses are gone from his music just as they are from his life. What remains are proper and secure songs, a notch or two above those of most other pop tunesmiths.
Release Date: 01 March 1995
2. Made in England