Review - Elton John & Pnau - Good Morning To The Night
Calling Elton John (YES ELTON JOHN) and Pnau’s ‘Good Morning To The Night’ “just another remix album” is really not doing it justice. Calling something a remix album makes people think of the typical songs or singles remixed by a collection of “I’ve never heard of that person” (for those not too familiar with the dance scene) and “well duh, that was an easy choice”’s (by those who are familiar with the dance scene and it’s more influential producers and remixers). I love remix albums (there are never enough remixes of a song), and I usually give them a fairly positive review (like here or here). But, as I said, this is not your typical remix album.
‘Good Morning To The Night’ is a complete reworking of essentially everything Elton John has ever done…and then some. Every song takes John’s original recordings (yes, they didn’t even take his lyrics and rerecord them – everything you hear is actually Elton) and cuts them up and mixes lines, samples and bits of everything and anything and completely new songs are created. Don’t think that this sounds choppy or glitch though. The entire album sounds as if someone went in and recorded all of this at once on purpose. How is it that words we have all come to know so well over such a long time are almost unrecognizable? Better yet, how is it that even though every song is actually only pieces of other ones (track number six – “Phoenix” takes samples and lyrics from nine Elton John songs), they are each and every one of them masterpieces on their own?
And the MUSIC! Wow. Forget pianos and guitars and think more along the lines of anything from Bee Gee’s-esque disco rhythms (the verse on the title track is unavoidably catchy) to funky keyboards on “Black Icy Stare” to Chromeo-quality keyboards on “Phoenix”. The entire thing is electronically produced, but please don’t read that the wrong way – so many of these tracks are simply modern reinvisionings of what studio musician-quality records were like back in the 70’s.
‘Good Morning To The Night’ takes Elton John’s songs – his hits and otherwise – and brings them into the modern day…in a retro way. I know that that doesn’t really make any sense, but once you hear the album, you’ll know what I mean.
PS – side note: this became Elton John’s first #1 album in the UK in 22 years and Pnau’s first album to ever chart. Says something.
Listen to: the entire album, but specifically “Good Morning To The Night”, “Phoenix”, and “Sad”