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Electric Light Orchestra - Electric Light Orchestra II CD (album) cover

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA II

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.54 | 151 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Although I heard ELO´s first album at the time it was released in Brazil (1974), it took me some 35 years to hear their sophmore release. And it´s a really interesting experience. This is clearly a transtional album. Although Roy Wood was gone by the time this album was recorded, his influence is still lurking around in some tracks, most notably on the opener In Old EnglandTown (Boogie No 2). Not surprisingly I latter found out that Wood played bass and cello on this track (uncredited, as he was on a second one, From The Sun To The World). But the record was notably for including a ´real´ band sound (strings included!!), that would eventually play live. It was the first CD to feature the excellent keyboards player Richard Tandy, and he would be crucial in giving the band its trademark sound.

Another aspect that ELO II reminds of the first one is the muddy production and the rather disjoined sound of some tracks, specially the opener that I really don´t like. However, this album is definitly a great improvement over the the first, being much more melodic, focused and interesting. While still a bit experimental, it´s easy to see the way Jeff Lynne and co would heading to. The symphonic ballad Mama is a good example of that. Another one is the terrific rendition of Berry´s Roll Over Beethoven. Like other reviewers already said, this is a totally remake, not only a cover, and it´s a fantastic combination of classical music and rock´n roll. Inventive, bold, fun and very, very good! While the two remaining tracks From The Sun To The World and Kuaima are not exactly my favorites, they are again better than the chaotic and confused píeces of the first LP. More interesting than good, but still valid and appropriate for the time. Vocals are a bit subdue most of the time, although the new remastered version that I own did wonders to improve this aspect and the very bad original production.

Conclusion: Good moments in general, some experiments here and there, not a totally successful album, for sure. Still, not a bad record either. Hard to rate it. Much better than the debut, but not as good as the ones that followed. I´d give it 2.5 stars, but I´ll round up to three since I enjoyed most of it. If you´re following the development of ELO`s sound you´ll be surprised how much they grew from one record to the other.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |

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