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Eloy - Power And The Passion CD (album) cover

POWER AND THE PASSION

Eloy

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.62 | 313 ratings

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Joolz
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Power And Passion represents something of a transition phase for Eloy, the 'missing link' between earlier heavy Hammond-and-guitar driven power-Prog and the ethereal Space Rock that typified succeeding albums. The Uriah Heep sound is still in evidence here, but with a more varied sound palette from a wider range of classic keyboards [especially Mellotron], a greater sense of 'symphonic' song and theme development than before, and an appearance of the hypnotic blissed-out grooves typical of Ocean [1977]. The result is an album that is enjoyable, but overall doesn't quite gel.

As always with Eloy, memorable melodies are not really on the agenda, and there has to be a caveat concerning Bornemann's distinctive vocals and obtuse lyrics. His singing of English lyrics in a very strong German accent and in a monotonous, almost tuneless, manner is very much an acquired taste! That aside, there is some great music here, even if the accusation of being derivative is not entirely unfounded - to Uriah Heep and Deep Purple we can now add Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd!

The album tells the story of Jamie, son of a mad scientist, who accidentally swallows a 'tardis' drug that sends him back in time to 1358 in Paris where he meets and falls in love with a girl called Jeanne, gets embroiled in a peasant uprising, is imprisoned and finally finds his way back to the 20thC to ponder his sense of loss for Jeanne and how little the world has changed in 600 years. The point of Bornemann's story is that humans have made great strides forwards in technology, but little in the way of relationships and humanity: the focus may have shifted, but the world remains full of greed, suppression and exploitation. The story is told in a literal and simplistic manner, barely touching the philosophical aspects. Neither is there any attempt at illustration in musical terms.

Musically, Power And Passion is a mixture: the two 'time travel' songs - Journey Into 1358 and Back Into The Present - are old style rock work-outs; Mutiny is a changeable long track with some excellent Mellotron and organ touches but is otherwise unremarkable; Imprisonment and Thoughts Of Home are simple reflective ballads; Daylight gets into a groove of sorts but is rather bitty; and The Zany Magician crosses a terrific gritty guitar riff with The Who's Uncle Ernie from Tommy!

Love Over Six Centuries is the first of two exceptional tracks, moving effortlessly from gentle chiming guitars, bass groove and heavy riffing to a classic Eloy space-groove telling the stories of Jamie and Jeanne. Beginning predictably with bells, The Bells Of Notre Dame sets up a reflective languid mood with Mellotron and guitar, gradually building towards a crescendo with some fine guitar work and strong backing. Both songs are examples of Eloy at their spacey best.

Overall, it's a good album giving hints of the direction the band would follow, and the last before upheavals would see a new line-up emerge. Bornemann's music may not have won awards for originality, but he adopted, adapted, developed and perfected his chosen styles over time. Power And Passion is at an early stage of the change process and should be approached with caution by anyone expecting full-on space-trips.

Joolz | 3/5 |

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