September 26, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

It was easily one of the most touching moments in recent musical memory — Elton John pouring his broken heart into a gorgeously rewritten ”Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral. Sad to say, that profound inspiration doesn’t carry over to his latest, which — unlike The Big Picture‘s predecessor, Made in England — plods through painfully flowered ballads until all color and fragrance are lost. Only a couple of cuts bloom anywhere close to ”Candle.” Maybe Elton, grief lifted, will find that happiness next time around. C

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