The Elton John CD Review

The Road To El Dorado (2000)


1.El Dorado
2.Someday Out of the Blue (Theme from El Dorado)
3.Without Question
4.Friends Never Say Goodbye
5.The Trail We Blaze
6.16th Century Man
7.The Panic in Me
8.It's Tough to be a God (w/Randy Newman)
9.Trust Me
10.My Heart Dances
11.Queen of Cities
12.Chelderado #
13.The Brig #
14.Wonders of the New World %

# composed by Hans Zimmer
% composed by John Powell

 

This release was special in many ways. Most notably this was a "reunion" of some that Elton had worked with on The Lion King - lyricist Tim Rice and composer Hans Zimmer. It was also an animated movie geared towards the younger audience as well. Unfortunatly, the movie never did very well. Critcs claimed that although it had many bright spots, it was a little too violent for small viewers. Another obstacle was the fact that this was not a Disney release. The movie company, Dreamworks, did fairly well with their first release "The Prince of Egypt", but they haven't quite the marketing share to grab audiences the way Disney can.


This was sad since the music featured here is excellent. Elton performs eleven songs (The Lion King feautured Elton on only three) and none of the songs disappoint. What's most refreshing is the variety of the types of music Elton churns out. Criticism of his last few works tended to now brand him as one-sided who only plays soft ballads. This release throws aside these accusations. Many songs seem to be a throwback to certain styles of music Elton has performed over the years. For example, 16th Century Man sounds like it could have easily been off Goodbye Yellow Brick Road , whereas The Trail We Blaze sounds as if something he may have originally penned for Tumbleweed Connection.

Most of the music does have a "Spanish" feel to it, sort of like the song A Word in Spanish from Reg Strikes Back. This is mostly apparent in the title song and the wonderfully animated duet with Randy Newman called It's Tough to be a God. My personal favorite is the late sixties Beatleish tune Trust Me.

The three songs of the score, which Elton didn't write are very nice as well, sounding very authentically sweet, upbeat, and Spanish. The only negative thing is that these songs seem to be too short, and one wishes the band would keep playing. If you liked The Lion King, you should love this one.


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