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Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE BLUE

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.64 | 303 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I think the album name "Out of The Blue" represented the situation and the facts that this album was coming out in out of the blue fashion by its composer, Jeff Lynne. It took only three and half week to write the music followed by two months period of recording in Munich. Surprisingly, the result was a good album which reached chart positions in many countries. I can only see from musical standpoint that after the success of their previous album "New World Record" (1976) the band faced another challenge to maintain the success of its predecessor or even making it better. The result is quite an ambitious product: a double album, which represented the band's first. The album includes an epic "Concerto for a Rainy Day" comprising four tracks : "Standing in the Rain" (4:20), "Big Wheels" (5:10), "Summer and Lightning" (4:13), and "Mr.Blue Sky" (5:05).

Through this album Jeff Lynne proved that he was a chart maker through making the music in orchestral arrangements which attracts both music lovers: regular pop and classical music fans. All seventeen tracks in this album are song-orientated arrangement and putting more emphasize on melody line. As far as orchestral arrangement this album is thicker than the predecessors. I admire the band for being successful in marrying regular pop music with orchestra. Well, actually, if I go into deep with what constitutes an ELO music, most of their compositions are basically neat even without an orchestra or string arrangements. Just imagine, you take out the orchestra part at "It's Over" and replaced it with piano, you still can get the beauty of their music.

Let's have a look on some of the tracks .

Pop Music with grandiose orchestration

The flavor of pop has been put upfront by the band through "Turn to Stone" (3:48) which is an upbeat music with good melody augmented with excellent orchestration. It flows beautifully to the hit "It's Over" (4:08). No question, this hit was quite popular at the end of the seventies as it was a regular radio play all over the world including my country. It's a neatly composed song. The following track "Sweet Talkin' Woman" (3:48) is another excellent track with nice melody which without string arrangement this track is still a nice track. "Across The Border" (3:52) not that popular but it has a nice violin intro followed with Beatles-like music augmented nicely with brass section. "Night in the City" (4:02) follows the path of previous track with its upbeat music and choir work.

"Starlight" (4:30) reminds me to the kind of Supertramp especially on its piano style. Through this album ELO wants to include some experimental track in "Jungle" (3:51) by maintaining its main style. It sounds like an African music dominated by percussion. "Believe Me Now" (1:21) serves like an overture in mellow style with grandiose orchestration which bridges nicely to "Steppin' Out" (4:38), a mellow track with Hawaian guitar in its intro followed with nice vocal line.

"Concerto for a Rainy Day" starts with "Standing in the Rain" (4:20) which kicks with an ambient sound of rain followed with string section resembling the classical music segments combined with great piano work and solid orchestra. The song moves in crescendo with intense orchestration and dynamic choirs supported by piano work. The second part of the epic, "Big Wheels" (5:10) represents psychedelic flavor with nice flow and melody. It moves to the third "Summer and Lightning" (4:13) using acoustic guitar rhythm section. The end part of the epic is an excellent track "Mr.Blue Sky" (5:05) which brings the music in upbeat The Beatles way. I like the female choirs which has enriched the textures of this song.

Overall, this album is very good in terms of composition as well as musicianship as all songs contained here in this album were nicely crafted by Jeff Lynne and friends. I consider, like other albums of ELO, this album is quite easy to digest for regular music buffs. It's recommended for those who love music with string arrangements / orchestration. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Gatot | 3/5 |

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