Elton John remembers when rock was young, those happy golden days before compulsive shopping and gay marriage when he used to trip out with Bennie and the Jets and have unprotected sex. According to this maudlin trip down memory lane - a conceptual sequel to 75's Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, his platonic mutual mash note to Bernie Taupin - if you close your eyes, hope hard and pretend music hasn't progressed since Richard Nixon left office, you can make those days happen again. It's not that The Captain & The Kid is a bad album; it just sounds terribly dated. You've got John bellowing the BTO-do-Crocodile Rockish Just Like Noah's Ark, moaning painfully tasteful piano ballads and mouthing Taupin's trying-too-hard-to-remember-when-we-were-hip references to blow and booze over Tin Pan Alley piano plunking. Of course, there's also the requisite AIDS anthem (Blues Never Fade Away) that works for pure schmaltz value, and two decent country and bluesish tracks. It's classic Elton, really. But what sounded exciting two decades ago, both lyrically and sonically, comes off like a deleted scene from Rent (the movie) today.