The Union - Elton John
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Oct 21, 2010
    100
    On The Union, produced by T Bone Burnett, John and Russell share the resurrection. Each goes back to what he first did best. Then they do it together.
  2. 90
    The Union brings up two very good points again and again: No amount of celebrity shenanigans or animated transgressions can eclipse the fact that Elton John is an absolutely amazing musician and there's a never-ending list of reasons why Leon Russell is your favorite musician's favorite musician.
  3. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    The material is designed to showcase the principals' piano playing, and skilled engineer Mike Piersante has set up the mic'ing and mix by putting Russell's piano on one side of the stereo spectrum, Elton's on the other, making the record a particular kick under headphones. [Nov 2010, p.98]
  4. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    The best tracks see the pair sparring over hymnal slow-burners that feature contributions from Neil Young, Brian Wilson, and Booker T. [Dec 2010, p.108]
  5. Dec 20, 2010
    80
    The Union has pulled off the canny trick of allowing Elton to revisit his past, while still sounding like a songwriter looking and moving confidently towards the future. [Dec 2010, p.106]
  6. Oct 26, 2010
    80
    The Union is a mutual display of affection from both sides - Elton and Bernie's nostalgic tales are infused with gospel, rollicking country and rock 'n' roll, while Leon's croaky voice adds southern authenticity.
  7. Oct 25, 2010
    80
    While Elton John may be the more famous half of this spirited collaboration, the inspiration was Leon Russell.
  8. Oct 21, 2010
    80
    The Union is quite a triumph.
  9. 75
    On The Union, Leon Russell's raspy wail makes an apt foil for Sir Elton's still-luxuriant croon, and the duo settles cozily into producer T Bone Burnett's arrangements.
  10. Dec 22, 2010
    70
    Elton and Russell, having come together for The Union, have made an album that delivers as a confident enmeshing of their talents
  11. Oct 21, 2010
    70
    As it stands, The Union is a blot on neither man's legacy, just a mature bout with flashes of former glory.
  12. Oct 21, 2010
    70
    Surely, it's a revival for Leon Russell, who has spent decades in the wilderness, but it's not a stretch to say The Union revitalizes Elton John just as much as it does his idol: he hasn't sounded this soulful in years.
  13. Jan 3, 2011
    67
    The Union should've been a Leon Russell album produced by Elton John and titled The Confederacy.
  14. Oct 22, 2010
    67
    Elton John has said that The Union, his collaboration with rock/pop/R&B legend Leon Russell, is an effort to bring Russell the attention John feels he deserves- including entry to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
  15. Oct 21, 2010
    63
    The new stuff will most assuredly get audiences on their feet; whether it leaves them with anything beyond visceral thrill as they exit the arena is another matter.
  16. Oct 21, 2010
    40
    That the album is a failure despite the authentic passion behind it only accentuates its participants' respective ruts. And it's further proof that the most consistent musicians are more pilgrims than they are professionals.
  17. Oct 21, 2010
    40
    Given the hype-supposedly this is John's return to his classic Tumbleweed Connection/Honky Chateau sound-and the star power, the bar should be high for these guys. Sadly, they can't reach it.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Nov 2, 2010
    10
    Elton's finally back to his first inspiation and to his roots. A wonderful journey thru gospel, rock, blues, country and soul. Elton's bestElton's finally back to his first inspiation and to his roots. A wonderful journey thru gospel, rock, blues, country and soul. Elton's best since med 70s and an unexpected comeback by Leon. Full Review »
  2. Oct 28, 2010
    3
    Been an EJ fan since the early 70 's and since "Blue Moves" Lp things have never quite been the same. Not to say the music has been bad justBeen an EJ fan since the early 70 's and since "Blue Moves" Lp things have never quite been the same. Not to say the music has been bad just different. The latest offering is again quite different. Two old dogs howling at the moon and riding on their past accomplishments. I just couldn't find the groove and consistency that makes me want to listen again and again. No "Tumbleweed Connection" here just disconnection. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2010
    10
    Between 1970 and 1976, Elton John released nine timeless, classic albums. And Rock of the Westies, as well. The Union, with Leon Russell, isBetween 1970 and 1976, Elton John released nine timeless, classic albums. And Rock of the Westies, as well. The Union, with Leon Russell, is easily the best Elton John album since his golden age ended with 1976's Blue Moves. There is a sincerity and grittiness that has been missing for a very long time. If you enjoyed Tumbleweed Connection you will enjoy this. Full Review »