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Electric Light Orchestra - Moment of Truth (Electric Light Orchestra Part II: post ELO) CD (album) cover

MOMENT OF TRUTH (ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA PART II: POST ELO)

Electric Light Orchestra

Crossover Prog


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msgtpierson@y
4 stars While ELO Part II's first CD seems a little "thin", Moment of Truth re-generates the more "classic" (or "classical") ELO sound of the mid-70s. Despite the absence of Jeff Lynne, this CD is a great post script to add to your ELO Library.

The Overture, Interludes, and Underture are all an excellent touch. In particular, I enjoyed Breakin' down the walls, Power of a million lights, The fox, and So glad you said goodbye, but the soulful One more tomorrow has to be the biggest gem on this release.

If you love ELO, you must have this!

Scott

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#81194)
Posted Thursday, June 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Moment of Truth was ELO Part 2's second and final studio album. This album contained a few lineup changes. Both Neil Lockwood and Pete Haycock left the band. They were replaced by Phil Bates (guitars and vocals) and former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt. In addition, former ELO violinist Mik Kaminski became a full member of the group. He had only briefly made a guest appearance on ELO Part 2's debut release of 1990. The album was also recorded with the London Session Orchestra.

This album is more or less a continuation of what Bevan was trying to do with their debut album: the intent of bringing back the classic ELO sound of the mid-to-late 1970's. I think he even succeeds more at this on this release than the previous one, although I feel the songwriting suffers from a lack of inspiration.

The album contains an overture and underture at the beginning and end consisting of only a string orchestra. It's somewhat similar in concept to ELO's Eldorado, except these pieces stand out on their own and are more complex and longer. Although there are three brief interludes inserted between different parts of the album, I don't sense any theme to it at all, musically or by lyric concept.

Moment of Truth is pretty much a selection of good pop songs with a good dose of filler. I don't think the production is quite as good as their last album either. Standouts include "Power of a Million Lights," "Voices," the fun little rocker "Don't Wanna," and "The Fox," an interesting song about a fox hunt from the perspective of the fox. Groucutt penned the latter song and sings it in the style of the Moody Blues' Ray Thomas. The rest of the material ranges from boring to goofy to plain dumb (like Whiskey Girls).

ELO Part 2 would continue as a band until early 2000 when Bev Bevan issued a press release indicating they were disbanded. Partially this was due to almost 90 percent of the songs they played live were ELO songs instead of ELO Part 2 songs. In 2000 Bevan sold his 50 percent share of the ELO name as well as the ELO Part 2 name to Jeff Lynne. With Lynne the full owner of the name, he legally prevented the rest of this band from using the name ELO Part 2 and so the remaining members renamed themselves The Orchestra.

This being the last studio release of an unusual ELO spin-off, it marks an interesting attempt to bring the classic ELO sound back from the dead. Although a mixed bag, it's not bad for a pop rock effort. Still, this is miles away from their progressive and art rock from the early 1970's. Recommended to open-minded ELO fans. Not recommended at all for any progressive rock collection. Two stars.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#111031)
Posted Thursday, February 08, 2007 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars ELO Part II released an interesting album with "Part II" some three years before this one. It was a return to a more symphonic and pop sound. A return to their early days period (1975 - 1977). This one will continue in the same direction.

I must honestly say that this "Overture" sounds really brilliant. During several and boring albums, Jeff intended to recreate the "El Dorado" mood but have always failed. I really wonder how it sounded so easy for this line-up to succeed where the master has lamentably failed ? This will always remain a mystery.

This album features some great pop songs, very much in line with some of their legendary releases (not talking about ELO II which was their most - and only - true prog effort). In fact this album is a continuation of nice melodies like "Breakin' Down the Walls", "Power of a Million Lights", "One More Tomorrow", "Love Or Money" which is truely a gem of a melody (100% in line with their greatest pop songs) and "Twist Of The Knife".

Another ELO tradition was to include some rockier songs in their releases. We'll also get such ones here as well : "Don't Wanna" with nice vocal arrangements,"Whiskey Girls" which sounds a bit country at times (hence the title I guess) and "So Glad You Said Goodbye"with a strong melody again.

Some of the tracks are somewhat weaker as well, like "Voices" although it has a nice symphonic break, but the vocals are pretty boring. Sounds as a Christian choir track. Not my cup of tea. I also appreciate very moderately "The Fox".

There are several very short tracks (six in total). Total duration of those six tracks clocks at 3'31" of which "Vixen" last for just FIVE seconds. I am not quite sure they were really relevant for the equilibrium of the whole although the three "Interludes" and "Blue Violin" are very nice. They could have been a bit longer...

"Underture" is also a very nice way to close this album. All the past grandeur of the band is there again. What a surprise ! The songwriting is of course sub-par when compared to the jewels of the band. Maybe some of them sound too mellowish but I am so happy to hear this nice sound again after so many terrible ELO releases that I might be biased when it comes to rating time (at least I admit it).

I really wonder why Jeff declined to join on their previous release ? Maybe because the idea came form Bevan ? Who knows ? But I am damned sure they could have achieved greater things again together. Still, this one is a valuable effort. I really advise ELO fans of their pop / symphonic period to give this one a spin. You won't be disappointed even if it might sound an heresy to get an ELO (being Part II) without Jeff. But he'll be back ...

Seven out of ten for this good album which I will generously upgrade to four stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#119016)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Moment of Truth was the follow-up album to ELO Part 2's self-titled debut. With this album the band became just a little bit more adventurous while maintaining the classic ELO sound. The orchestra played a more stronger role on this album with two pieces, the Overture and Underture, done entirely by the orchestra. There had not been this much orchestration in an ELO album since Eldorado or Face the Music. The music is still energetic like on the previous release and still contains a fair number of the sappy stuff. Former ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt formally joined the band on their tour for their debut album and thus makes his studio debut on this album. He contributed the interesting song "The Fox," which is about a fox hunt in the eyes of a fox. It has a very different sound, kind of reminding me of the Moody Blues. In fact, several songs on here seem to have a Moody Blues influence to them. It seems this album strayed a bit from Lynne inspirations and moved more towards the group having its own character. Unfortunately, this was the last ELO Part 2 studio album and we'll never know how this group might have evolved.

For the most part, Moment of Truth is chiefly in the pop music vein, with some very slight progressive tendencies appearing here and there. If you liked their debut, you should enjoy this one as well. Two stars since this barely fits any definition of progressive rock.

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Send comments to progaardvark (BETA) | Report this review (#148167)
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Disappointing.

Luckily, I didn't pay too much for this depressing album. A couple of bucks, and I don't even know if it's worth that. The shame of it all is that this lineup was obviously trying to go back to the Proggier days of the band and a symphonic, conceptualized record was the result, here. The problem, however, is that no matter what might have sounded like a good idea, the music just wasn't up to par with the vision. I remember first putting this on, and being disappointed almost to tears rather quickly. My heart truly sank listening to this failed attempt at a return-to-form.

It's a shame, because I can tell they were trying, here, but whatever made their earlier works great had left them by now. Blame it on all the line-up changes, lack of any real insperation, the shifting climate of the music market, whatever you wish, but the bottom line is that ELO Part 2 was not a good era for this band, and neither album from that era is worth too much time, in my opinion.

Only a little better than the lowest points of the band's first incarnation, but not recommended to newcomers. You're only going to dig this is you already know what the band is/was about. For a starting point, this just isn't good enough, and it's certainly nowhere near the caliber ELO used to churn out in the glory days.

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Send comments to JLocke (BETA) | Report this review (#271384)
Posted Friday, March 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars hmm..This may be one of the most boring albums ever. It's not a terrible album but it sounds like an Electric Ligt Orchestra album minus Jeff Lynne. Hey, wait. That is exactly what it is! Melodies are not as strong, vocals are poorer, it just doesn't make it. Jeff Lynne may be the unrecognized master of pop melodies. This album is really missing his touch. Kelly, Bev Bevan and Mik Kaminski really need that 1 more guy- Jeff. So in summary, not very bad just very forgettable. Higher than a 1 star but barely a 2 star. Can't really reccomend it to anyone.

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Send comments to mohaveman (BETA) | Report this review (#733591)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

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