As 68-year-olds are wont to do, Elton John has arrived a little bit early for the party with his 33rd (!) studio album, but Wonderful Crazy Night's summer soundtrack credentials are strong, and it will blast out from many a cookout in the months to come. 

Behind the million-watt-smile on the cover, the songs find John switching between swampy, streetwise and spiritual - if there are no to-die-for classics, there are no duffers, either. Curiously, the three best tracks, ballad A Good Heart, the foot-up-on-the-piano feelgood of Looking Up and the clap-'til-you-can't Guilty Pleasure, are all bunched together. T-Bone Burnett's production has more sheen than necessary, but the players do a class job behind the maestro.

While there's far more here for the faithful than any Tumbleweed Connection blow-in, the latter will have no indigestion when they hear this in someone's back garden in June.

Harry Guerin