The Captain and the Kid is the third album in a career-resurrecting run that began in 2001, when Elton John took the novel approach of sitting down at a piano and writing songs that sound a lot like Elton John. The album is a sequel to 1975's chart-topping Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, and it has moments that rival the original: The songs are precision instruments, from the honky-tonk pop of "Just Like Noah's Ark" to pristine ballads like the title track. With lyricist Bernie Taupin in tow, The Kid traces thirty-odd years' worth of ups and downs that befall the duo. The story line gets a little murky and the album cheeses out on songs like "The Bridge." But more than just a gift to fans, it shows Elton's gifts haven't deserted him. And that's more than good enough.