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Electric Light Orchestra - A New World Record CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.39 | 313 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Much like Face the Music, A New World Record is highly enjoyable. Also like Face the Music, it just isn't that progressive. I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for some innovative string laden pop music. I am a fan of Jeff Lynne. By this point in his career however he moved into making glossy pop productions and moved on from many the things that made Eldorado such a treasure. Yes, that pun is intended.

The best two tracks come immediately one after another, Tightrope and then the infamous Telephone Line. Both utilize the strings very well. The former is more of a straightforward rocker where the latter is a spacey ballad. I can listen both of these over and over again much Eldorado. They aren't the most progressive works, especially Tightrope, but I think it would have made for a superior album if it had maintained that level of quality.

Next follows the intriguing Rockaria!, a quite literal rock opera. It does tend to overstay its welcome in a hurry. It has a bit of Rock-A-Billy hidden in there along with the classical music and generic rock influences. It is good if you don't listen to it too often, because it is repetitive.

After Rockaria!, the album does take a bit of a drop off. Mission is kind of a mixed bag. It is peculiar and a little more complex than some of the other stuff on the album. What it suffers from is the lack of lightweight joy that is Jeff Lynne at his best. Some of the instrumental stretches are actually really good, but there just aren't enough of them.

It really is hard for me to say that I hate just about any songs on this album; they're just a different kind of music. So Fine is a perfect example of that. It is freewheeling joy, but it's pop. I would still kill to have this on the radio rather than what we get these days. There is a caveat to that "Just about Any" statement for hating songs. I don't really enjoy Livin' Thing. It has its moments but I just can't get into it. Like Rockaria it too is repetitive and I find the backing vocals to be grating at times, which is definitely a turn off when you are sitting on the fence to begin with. Above the Clouds has some nice vocal work, but is a bit of a throw away. I do love that "Cau-aught in the heat of the ni-ight" right at the intro.

Do Ya! Short, fun, sweet, not progressive and totally rockin'! Roll down the windows, get in the fast lane and crank the stereo. Best song after the first two for sure.

After Do Ya, A New World record comes crashing to a halt for a finale. Shangri-La is mostly a melancholic ballad, which plays like a pale imitation of Telephone Line. Auto-plagiarism is bad enough when it happens over the course of a career, its much worse when it happens on the same album. The coda of Shangri-La is surprisingly one of the strongest portions on the album however. There, for one brief minute, are shades of Eldorado, much like Fire on High from Face the Music.

Well there you have it. A New World Record is no progressive masterpiece, but for the most of its short course is a much more than competent pop album. Go grab it, if like me you love ELO. If you are a looking for killer crossover prog, you are gonna have to look elsewhere. Like say? Phideaux. My PA rating is two stars.

R-A-N-M-A | 2/5 |


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