Blue Moves is a hidden gem, that is if you give it time to grow on you. Seriously, it wouldn't be far-fetched to claim that Blue Moves is one of John's most disliked albums. However, I'm going to buck the trend and declare it one of his greatest achievements. Sure, the tonality of the album is different from his earlier albums, but from a mere sonic perspective, it’s audible gold!
Your Starter For... is a short, but pleasant, musical introduction to the album. It has a fantastic rhythm and it’s just a shame the song doesn't go longer, however, I also feel it is the perfect length.
Tonight is symphonically beautiful, with gorgeous piano work. I simply can't help but turn the volume up, in order to be enveloped in the incredible soundstage. Beautifully recorded, mixed, and mastered, this is one song you really need to listen to in a darkened room, with eyes closed, to fully enjoy the complex musicality. Tonight is one of John's greatest recordings!
One Horse Town is a great song with an incredible rhythm, but you have to wait for it as the introduction slowly builds from the more delicate Tonight to the upbeat pace of One Horse Town. I really enjoy John's vocal performance here, especially with those slightly higher notes as he takes his vocal right to the edge before backing off at the last moment. Pure perfection!
Chameleon is gorgeous!
Boogie Pilgrim is a B-side. It works well in the album format, but as an individual song, it’s largely forgettable. That is if you can get the catchy tune out of your mind.
Cage The Songbird returns the album to a style I feel is closer to the overall musicality of Blue Moves. It’s a lovely vocal-driven track. Beautiful!
Crazy Water is a bit of a mixed bag. From a composition standpoint, it works really, really well. I love John's vocal delivery but the musicality sounds a little dated and campy. Nevertheless, it manages to come together and ends up being one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Shoulder Holster is a solid song and a perfect addition to the album. The brass instrumentation certainly makes the song and I dare say without it, Shoulder Holster would be rather bland.
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word is, as I've said before, absolutely magnificent!
Out Of The Blue is a musical jolt after the sonic brilliance of Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. It isn't that it is a bad song, just the wrong choice to come after the aforementioned song. Once you get past the musical shift, the song really comes into its own with yet another addictive rhythm.
Between Seventeen And Twenty may sound a little offbeat, but I love it!
The Wide-Eyed And Laughing is quite a different Elton John song. I can understand why some would dislike it, but I find it captivating!
Someone's Final Song is superb. I even detect a little Freddie Mercury as I listen to John's vocal style on this song.
Where's The Shoorah? is lovely and perfectly suited to the album.
If There's A God In Heaven (What's He Waiting For?) is a B-side. Not bad, but certainly nothing to write home about.
Idol is beautiful, although George Michael mastered it on his stunning live album Symphonica.
Theme From A Non-Existent TV Series is another musical interlude that works well, despite the rhythmic shift from Idol. That said, Theme From A Non-Existent TV Series leads brilliantly into the final track.
Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance!) gets you moving, although I can't help but think Idol would have been the perfect song to conclude the album on. Nevertheless, Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance!) encourages me to play Blue Moves again and stay within John's catalogue.
Blue Moves is, without a doubt, one of the most overlooked albums of all time, I implore you to give it another listen as you will be amazed by just how good this album sounds. Sure, it isn't representative of John's chart hits, but it could be argued that this album was an attempt to do something more bold from an artistic standpoint. If that was the intent, then Blue Moves ticked all the boxes.
For this review, I listened to the album on TIDAL Hi-Fi. The mastering is perfect and while I'll likely pick up the 2017 vinyl reissue, I can't imagine Blue Moves sounding better than it does via TIDAL's CD-quality stream. It is nothing short of absolute perfection!
Click here to read other Elton John reviews by Subjective Sounds.