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Electric Light Orchestra - Electric Light Orchestra (No Answer) CD (album) cover

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA (NO ANSWER)

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 159 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Light up the Orchestra!

Amongst most people, my understanding of ELO has always been based around widely known hit singles like ''Evil Woman'' or ''Last Train to London'', automatically categorising them in the ''easy listening'' rock genre (if there is one). Listening to their album ''Eldorado'' changed my opinion slightly and decided to give a try with their earliest material.

To my delight, this debut album has turned out to be an intriguing experience. The extensive use of cello, oboe and violins comes as a more than pleasant surprise and drives the entire sound of ELO, clearly seen in 10538 Overture; the strings and the characteristic opening guitar riff create a memorable track. The strong influence of The Beatles is obvious especially in the beginning of the album - Look at me Know sounds too familiar to Eleanor Rigby with its constant classical strings-based tempo. Mr. Radio is another ode to the Liverpool legends but this time it borrows more of their radio-friendly aspect.

But it is not all about The Beatles: the album thrives in melody, carefully worked compositions, excellent musicianship and instrumental passages of classical music. Nellie Takes her Bow is a combination of all the above and includes an unexpected bizarre classical passage in the middle of this relatively smooth and melodic track. The peak melodic moment of the album lies with the Queen of the Hours where the strings create a magical atmosphere filled with the strongest harmonies and vocals.

The real amusement comes with the trinity of instrumentals: The Battle of Marston Moor and Manhattan Rumble are epic pieces of classical music that could have easily been soundtracks of respective movies (if they are not already). Their style is somewhat different to the rest of the album compositions and one might question their inclusion, but they definitely give a touch of extra "progressiveness" and innovation. On the other hand, First Movement is a much more "contemporary" and melodic piece, mainly based on acoustic guitars. Its sound is very dynamic and it reminded me slightly of Fairport Convention's latest works. Whisper in the Night sums up the album nicely as an easy-listening ballad, showing exceptional vocals and great combination of strings and acoustic guitars.

The feeling I get from this debut is that is "ahead from its age" with the amalgamation of pop, rock, pomp, prog and classical music elements. The sound differs from track to track and this variety gives the album the extra constituents to form an excellent release.

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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