The Big Picture
finds Elton John in strong form, turning in a by-now-predictable collection of ballads and pop songs designed to appeal to the adult contemporary audience. The difference is inspiration. With Made in England
, John and his collaborator Bernie Taupin
showed signs of life, and they continue that winning streak here. There may be nothing new on The Big Picture
, but it's well-crafted professional pop, demonstrating John's knack for catchy pop hooks and his way with a ballad. As with any latter-day John album, hits like "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" are balanced out by some filler, but the key to the album is how album tracks like "Recover Your Soul," "If the River Can Bend," and "The Big Picture" carry emotional and melodic weight. It's a solid effort from one of pop's most reliable artists.