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Eloy - Colours CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.70 | 409 ratings

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4 stars It is the start of the 1980s, and as with other well known Prog bands, Eloy moved with the times and updated their sound to include a stronger keyboard presence. New keyboard player Hannes Folberth has brought a raft of fresh ideas and sounds, replacing the old spacey textures and grooves with a more structured 'symphonic' form of AOR. The addition of a second guitarist adds depth to full and imaginative arrangements, ably assisted by exciting rhythmical twists and a detailed and powerful production. Colours is quite a big jump from its weak predecessor, no more so than in Bornemann's vocals which were like a lead weight dragging down Silent Cries And Mighty Echoes. While still he would not win any polls for singing, here his voice is reasonably tuneful and provided with more interesting melodies to sing. Significantly, it is also recorded less 'dry' than before.

Pink Floyd references are not entirely omitted, but they are relegated to a supporting role only. Similarities to The Alan Parsons Band abound throughout the album, while several tracks point towards Trick Of The Tail era Genesis, for example the excellent Illuminations [Steve Hackett chiming guitar work] and Giant [Squonk?] have clear antecedants without ever being hollow imitations, while the heavier Child Migration can't make up its mind whether to be Genesis or Led Zeppelin! Impressions takes a different tack, its loping rhythm and uncredited flute is very Jethro Tull circa Thick As A Brick. Despite these pointers, the music does not generally sound derivative.

Guitars and keyboards vie for attention at all times, as typified in the stunning masterpiece Silhouette. This begins gently with Bornemann singing over atmospheric piano and 'flute' [Mellotron?], before a wonderful infectious bass and drum riff sets up a hypnotic groove that dominates the remainder of the track, even during vocal sections. This is not the kind of ethereal/trance groove that appeared on Ocean, but one that speaks directly to the body's motor organs. As the song ends with an ambient fade into the next track, you are left desperately wanting more!

Colours is a very strong set, with just a couple of weaker moments - Horizons, with its funky Clavinet based arrangement, makes a good starting-off point but never develops any further, while Gallery is an undistinguished up-tempo heavy-AOR song. That aside, it is an excellent album combining elements of space-rock and AOR with a degree of symphonic complexity that give it a broader appeal yet with enough twists and turns to satisfy a Prog fan.

Joolz | 4/5 |


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