After more than four years off the road which included a rather ill-fated renouncing of pop music for classical Billy Joel returns to (what else?) woo us with his legendary catalogue of songs. Aw, why not? Joel's work came ready-made for nostalgia 30 years ago. The songs from his heyday ("Piano Man," "Honesty," "My Life," "Big Shot," and on and on) proved so catchy we felt they had been around forever. Despite his unfortunate penchant for uptown girls, Joel has rightfully etched his songbook into the mass consciousness. And even pushing 60, the guy can still bring the fire to a live show (even if he didn't start it). His recent concert disc, 12 Gardens, is all the evidence you need. The Bronx native also has the grace and good sense to reach deep into his catalogue for every show, past the big hits, which makes his live gigs, as they say, worth the price of admission. Saby Reyes-Kulkarni
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