Record guide: selected rock and pop releases

These capsule reviews are designed to help readers decide which records to buy. Inclusion does not indicate Monitor endorsement. Further reviews in the rock/pop category - as well as in other categories, such as classical and jazz - are published from time to time.


Elton John: ''Jump Up.'' GHS 2013. The presence of Elton John's eccentric brand of rock that soaked up so many record-buying dollars in the early- and mid-'70s has been in less demand of late. Elton hasn't changed much, but the music scene has. This album, however, which has sold fairly well since its release in April and deserves a closer look. Here Elton's voice (sounding a bit like a country-western singer gone rock) sings his own pleasant tunes with words by several collaborators, including the irrepressible Bernie Taupin. Although he's at his worst when it comes to ''I Am Your Robot,'' a predictable, repetitive song with lyrics that are pretty much covered in the title, some of the other songs are rather good. There's ''Princess,'' one of those tunes you find yourself humming hours after you've heard it. ''Legal Boys'' is sentimental , yet tuneful. Then there's ''Blue Eyes,'' a song that is warm - and sung with remarkable dignity by Elton, who is often guilty of strained singing. In a way, Elton's strong return here is unusual in that the best candidates are soft pop tunes, whereas his mercurial past has been punctuated by lively rockers. Either way, he's proved his tunemaking ability is undiminished.

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