Release Date: Jul 17, 2012
Record label: Casablanca
Genre(s): Pop, Electronic, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance
Australian dance duo Pnau have been mentored by Elton John for five years, and it's with his blessing that they have reimagined his early 70s output by splicing together snippets of songs to create something wholly new and oddly affecting. The dazzling title track combines eight of Elton's lesser-known pieces to create an uplifting club anthem – in the vein of Modjo's Lady – that seems a sure-fire summer hit. Meanwhile, Telegraph to the Afterlife can't help but evoke thoughts of Pink Floyd with its air of gloomily majestic introspection and eerie, echoey "Hello, hello, hello" vocals.
The quality of his records may fluctuate over the decades, but there has never been any doubt that Elton John retains a keen ear for fashionable pop. So it is no surprise that he handed over tapes from his purple patch of the early '70s -- roughly Elton John through Blue Moves -- to the Australian dance duo Pnau, giving them full reign to sample, interpolate, splice and dice familiar tunes into new dance tracks. Such constructions are certainly not uncommon, but they're usually not endorsed by the artist, and certainly whenever they are, they're not as imaginative as Good Morning to the Night.
Stick around in pop long enough and your past will come back to haunt you. For ‘Good Morning To The Night’, Australian dance duo Pnau (aka Empire Of The Sun) were given access to the master tapes of what many see as Elton John’s peak creative period, 1970-76 (although this leaves out gems such as 1978’s ‘A Single Man’ and 1981’s ‘The Fox’), and encouraged to construct new compositions from them. The results range from danceable (‘Phoenix’, ‘Sad’) to unnerving (‘Telegraph To The Afterlife’, ‘Sixty’) and give off an atmosphere of ghostly melancholy that subtly subverts Elton’s reputation as a cosy British institution.[i]Joseph Stannard[/i] .
A certain long-held writers' block tip states that if you can't think of a creative approach to one subject, pair it up with a completely opposite subject and see what you get when you combine the two. The idea being that whatever you come up with, it'll be original and worth a listen/look/read. Well, this is exactly the premise upon which Good Morning To The Night seems to have been based.
As Elton John tells it, he was in a Sydney record shop, picked up a record by Australian electro-duo Pnau and liked it so much he signed them to his management company. Pnau – whose Nick Littlemore had minor UK success as Empire of the Sun – have repaid him by refashioning his early-70s catalogue into eight new songs, the result being half-art, half-science. Each track contains slivers of up to nine (mostly obscure) songs, with Elton's voice drifting through like ether.
Bespectacled pop bigwig takes a chance on nu-disco underdogs, with dazzling results. Kate Hutchinson 2012 When one of the world’s most successful solo artists decided that he wanted to team up with hip electro younglings on an album, few predicted that those lucky two would be Aussie duo Pnau. It’s a leftfield choice for a legend that could have had his pick of rent-a-Guettas, or chosen to work with Pnau frontman Nick Littlemore’s infinitely more recognisable band, Empire of the Sun.