Guess who’a already on the shortlist for a slot on the 10 best albums of the year? Sir Elton John, that’s who. His Wonderful Crazy Night is just what the title promises, and it has to be the best Elton John album in, oh, what, like three decades. He’s really revitalized his career in the past few years, and when I say that I mean that he sounds like he’s literally been injecting vitality serum. I don’t know what changed exactly, but after how badly he phoned it in throughout the 80’s and 90’s, it’s been a fantastic turnaround ever since Songs From the West Coast came out in 2001. And he’s sounding better and better with each new record. I am thunderstruck by how great his voice sounds. Maybe it’s the sound of all the happiness he now has in his life, what with the growing family, the renewed acclaim, the successful activism and charity endeavors, the mentoring of new artists and all that whatnot. Whatever it is, you just gotta give it up for the guy; at one point it really looked like he would die at the bottom of a bottle as a mawkish sad has-been; today he’s as great as he’s ever been and he’s being rewarded for it, after all of his struggles, on every level.