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

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA II

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.53 | 153 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!!

With Roy Wood's unbelievable departure after their debut, one had to wonder how they might just pull off another album, as stunning as the first one, but Jeff Lynne will pull it off, although he will keep the heavy instrumentation of the debut album to a certain extent, but not always with great success. Only Lynne and drummer Bevan remain from the debut album, Wood being replaced by two cello players and Lynne abandoning the keys to concentrate on guitars and vocals. Tandy on keys and Alburquerque on bass will remain for a few albums to come.

Opener Old England Town is a very muddy sounding track that can repel the unwary listener, but the delightful (but slightly over-long) follower Mama is much easier on the ears and clearly indicative of future ELO directions and Berry's Beethoven (being a rather unashamedly commercial call to stardom) closing off the first side of the vinyl.

But clearly the better tracks lay on the second side with the rather epic (but not fully achieved) From The Sun To The World including a boogie and a tango into a classical theme: impressive even if flawed. The almost 12-min closer is an impressive slow starter but develops into a great instrumental passage on the halfway mark. To call this track an epic might just be overstating it a tad, but it would not be indecent either.

Clearly not as artistically successful as their debut album, 2 is a transition album (there will be more and a cynical proghead might just say that the next five albums will be transitional), but it has some good moments but clearly not reaching the height of their debut, clearly lacking Roy Wood's input. So Lynne had to compensate with what he does best, evident melodies that could've been imagined by McCartney.

Around the time of this album, ELO will also write Showdown that will appear as a non-album single and will clearly define the typical ELO sound even if this second album is also an important step into that direction.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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