Billy Joel is the complete package as a singer / songwriter - great voice, superb musician ( a classically trained pianist ), writes both words and music. And yet, despite the fact that his lyrics clearly reflect his experience of mental pain and suffering, his intelligent take on the dynamics of relationships and the value of self-acceptance, his music still lacks the cutting edge that makes you sit up and listen.
Billy has always tried to resist the commercial forces at work in the music industry, with some success, and has even written protest songs, such as Goodnight Saigon and Allentown ( both 1982 ) which unfortunately I'm not familiar with.
He's been described as a "working class populist" and a "confessional romantic balladeer". Fairly apt, I suppose, but labels, labels....... do they really have much value ?
I'll just say that, despite what I said earlier, I regard anyone who can write songs that people are still singing a generation later to be deserving of the utmost respect.