Elton John has finished what he calls "the most piano-oriented album of my career" and is looking at a release in September.
Titled "The Diving Board," the 13-track album comprises songs written in two sessions with lyricist Bernie Taupin. The first was in January 2012 soon after the completion of his album with Leon Russell, "The Union." Four others were written and recorded in January of this year.
"We wrote 11 songs in three and recorded them in four days," John told a small group of friends, associates and journalists at Los Angeles’ Village Studios on Friday afternoon.
After a year, John and Taupin were able to revisit the project, write a few more songs and finish the album. "In hindsight, I realize I never had that before," he said of being able to step away from compositions for a good period of time.
T Bone Burnett, who produced "The Union," produced the new album as well. They kept the accompaniment minimal -- Jay Bellerose on drums, Raphael Saadiq on bass, Keefus Ciancia on keyboards, Doyle Bramhall on guitar and Motown legend Jack Ashford on percussion. John was keen to point out that the block Ashford used on his "A Town Called Jubilee" was the one used on Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On."
The album is a mix of gospel, blues, jazz, brass band music, pop and a waltz -- "everything I love about American music," he said. Taupin treats each song as a short story that, in turn, giving the work a cinematic feel.
"This is the album I should be making after 'The Union.' It's my most adult album."
Here’s the track listing for Elton John’s next album, “The Diving Board”:
"Oscar Wilde Gets Out"
"A Town Called Jubilee"
"The Ballad of Blind Tom"
"Can’t Stay Alone Tonight"
"Take This Dirty Water"
"The New Fever Waltz"
"Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)"
"The Diving Board"