Crocodile Rock Critic? That’d Be Elton John
Elton John as a pop music critic?
Elton John as an Eminem fan?
The answer in both cases: yes.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, always quick in interviews to tout his latest pop faves, is now taking his enthusiasm one step further.
He’s sharing his views in a monthly column in Interview magazine, which is edited by his friend Ingrid Sischy. And John proves a reliable judge. Among the quality artists he has championed in his four columns so far: Macy Gray, Moby, Groove Armada and Travis.
In the August issue, John recommends new releases by several female artists, including Sinead O’Connor, k.d. lang, Aimee Mann, Cindy Bullens and Amanda Ghost.
But his grandest praise is for Eminem’s controversial “The Marshall Mathers LP,” which has been criticized in some quarters as being both misogynistic and anti-gay.
“It feels like the nuclear bomb has just hit . . . ,” John writes of the album. “Rap records are often full of [expletive] and this is really hard-core stuff, but it’s intelligent hard-core stuff--it’s funny, it’s clever, it’s poetry, and it’s also musically interesting.”
In an interview, John, who is gay, told The Times, “I don’t think it’s homophobic in the least. Axl [Rose] went through this thing as well, and every time I’ve met Axl he couldn’t have been nicer to me. He inducted me into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. . . . I just think Eminem has made a really fantastic album. Rock ‘n’ roll has always supposed to have been about pushing the buttons, hasn’t it?”
The only disappointment in the column is that John doesn’t share his barbs. The rule he set for himself was not to slam anyone, because he knows how much negative reviews can sting.
Anything catch his ear for the next issue of Interview?
“The Wallflowers’ new album,” he says. “It’s just brilliant.”