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The Lockdown Sessions is a “sin”


     On Oct. 22, 2021, Elton John released his newest album, The Lockdown Sessions. The album is a collection of 16 duets with other artists, some popular now, some more popular in the past. Some of the most notable people he collaborated with, in my opinion, are Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus and Eddie Vedder. 

     As a huge Elton John fan, I was extremely excited for this new album. After his last tour supposedly being a farewell one, I was ecstatic to hear that he was planning on releasing new music. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed with this album. None of the songs seemed like the Elton John I have listened to for years. While I understand that the point of this was to highlight other artists and add John to their style, I do not feel as if his voice paired well with most of the other performers.

     One of my biggest problems with this album was the use of autotune and other electronic voice changing softwares. With John, I expected an acoustic sounding song with piano and only slightly altered vocals, as it is nearly impossible to find completely acoustic vocals on an album now. However, this wasn’t the case for the majority of the songs. John’s vocals had been clearly tampered with and sounded electronic. This might have been what they were


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going for, but it didn’t work very well with John’s voice. John could have been utilized more if he was used in some sort of break where all the electronics cut out, as his acoustic singing voice is what he is most known for. 

     While I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the songs, I will say, every artist did a fantastic job individually. Everyone sounded great, minus the odd melding of genres. Every singer, including Elton John, clearly put a lot of effort into their performances. I also really liked the idea of a singing legend like Elton John trying to showcase other artists, although I personally would have preferred a solo Elton John album.

     I didn’t dislike all of the songs on the album. “Finish Line,” where Elton John sings with Stevie Wonder, was fantastic. Wonder and John have voices that compliment each other very well. “Nothing Else Matters,” a Metallica cover by Miley Cyrus featuring Elton John, was another one of my favorites on the album. Cyrus has shone with her new ventures into singing rock music. Her voice matches this softer version of the heavy metal ballad. Elton John’s contribution to this song adds a hint of deeper, darker tones that transition smoothly from Cyrus’ vocals.  I also thoroughly enjoyed “Learn to Fly” with Surfaces, “The Pink Phantom” with Gorillaz and “ONE OF ME” with Lil Nas X.

     Overall, this was not my favorite album. As a fan of Elton John, it was difficult to continue listening when his voice sounded nearly robotic. While there were a few songs that were pretty good, I would recommend waiting for the next album John puts out.  

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