1971 One Man Academy
Album of the Year

Elton John, Elton John

Worth a listen

  • Sweet Baby James, James Taylor

If you only listen to one song: "No Shoe Strings on Louise", Elton John


Deal Breakers
It's been a while since we've had a deal breaker and 1971 has two.
CSNY
I really liked CSN's debut album and hoped the next album would be even better. Unfortunately, I dislike the sound of Neil Young's singing voice so much I didn't finish listening to the album.

Boy have I got the blues, yes I do

James Taylor's Sweet Baby James was in the running to score an OMA, along with Elton John. Unfortuantely, the album includes "Steamroller Blues" and "Oh Baby, Don't You Loose Your Lip on Me", which are two tracks I cannot abide. I don't believe the person singing those songs has the blues and I find it deeply regretable that those two recordings exist. If I could Thanos snap them out of existance, I would.

Elton John
Okay but here's the thing: 1971 could've had three deal breakers because I dislike "Your Song" more than I care to put into words. I know it's everyone's favorite and I just hate it so much. In general, I'm not a fan of songs that are super self-referential, either of themselves or the songwriting craft[1]; this one in particular just feels next-level lazy.

Take, for example, my single least favorite line: "If I was a sculptor, but then again, no."

If you don't wanna be a sculptor, just change the lyric.

The rest of the album is very good and makes up for the first song. (Plus, since it's the first song, I just skip it.)

With many icons, including Elton John, all of their songs exist in my head in a timeless glob. I have no idea how much time and life transpired between "Take Me To The Pilot" and "Bennie and the Jets" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"... 2 years? 20 years? Having a chance to place ten of his songs into a single place and time was nice.


The current One Man Academy (OMA) project is listening to the Grammy's Album of the Year nominees and re-choosing winners, absent of historical context.

Featured songs from this post: Spotify

All previous OMA Album of the Year Winners


  1. This includes a mild amount of regret for some really awesome songs, e.g. "Song For You" by Leon Russell and "Blue" by Joni Mitchell. "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles is 100% excused, though, because I high key love that song. ↩︎