"The Diving Board" is a good Elton John/Bernie Taupin album, but, when compared to earlier classics like "Honky Chateau", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy", or later ones like "Made in England", the greatly underrated "The Big Picture", "Songs from the West Coast", "Peachtree Road" and "The Captain and the Kid", it should be regarded as a pale imitation, even if Elton John and Bernie Taupin have advanced light years ahead of songs as memorable as "Rocket Man" ("Honky Chateau"), "Candle in the Wind" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" ("Goodbye Yellow Brick Road") in their music and lyrics. Most of "The Diving Board" songs could have benefited from great vocal harmonizing of the kind demonstrated by Nigel Olsson, Dee Murray and Davey Johnstone in those classic early 70s and early 80s albums or by Olsson, Johnstone, John Mahon and Bob Birch in "Peachtree Road" and "The Captain and The Kid". Many of the albums I have cited also possess great orchestral arrangements from the likes of Paul Buckmaster - who is still composing memorable arrangements (a notable recent example is for Train's "Drops of Jupiter") - and Guy Babylon; in stark contrast, the string and horn arrangements on "The Diving Board" sound murky and undistinguished. I hope the next studio album will feature the current Elton John Band, whom I regard as the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) of rock and pop, not some hand-picked crew of studio musicians who are not as familiar with Elton's music as current band members or former members like drummer Charlie Morgan and guitarist John Jorgenson. An album that should be produced by a producer who truly understands Elton's musical legacy; someone like Stuart Epps or Patrick Leonard (producer of Songs from the West Coast. An album that could include a notable symphony orchestra like New York City's Orchestra of Saint Luke's playing new Paul Buckmaster orchestral arrangements, recorded in the same recording studio venerated by many classical and jazz musicians, the auditorium of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, used by classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and alt-country singer/songwriter Tift Merritt in their critically acclaimed recent album Night, which sounds more like a tribute to early Elton John than does "The Diving Board". This year is the 40th anniversary of the original release of what many view as Elton's greatest album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"; I suspect many will be more enthusiastic about acquiring its 40th anniversary edition, than in buying "The Diving Board".