December 15, 1986 12:00 PM

Elton John

The timing of John’s releases in recent years has made him seem like an opening act for Santa. This is another pre-holiday treat, with John thumping his keyboards and laying into another batch of pop-rock tunes, most of them written by Elton and his partner Taupin, who to judge by the credits still seems unable to find his first name. (Hey, Elton, remind him; it’s Bernie.) John sings such songs as Gypsy Heart and Heartache All Over the World with considerable enthusiasm. He suggests there’s a more substantial singer there somewhere with / Fall Apart. He branches out with Don’t Trust That Woman, written by Cher and Lady Choc Ice (an alter ego for Elton John), lamenting, “You can beat her/ But don’t mistreat her/ Oh, don’t believe that woman, please.” While it’s predictable, there are less satisfying predictions than that every year Elton John will come out with an enjoyable album about this time. (Geffen)

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