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Eloy - Planets CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.99 | 456 ratings

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4 stars If the preceding "Colours" gets lumped in with "Planets" and its follow up "Time to Turn", this turns out to have more to do with the lineup, the time period, and the overall approach of generally shorter punchier songs than with the actual sound. While on "Colours" the question of what might Eloy sound like if they had an additional guitarist was answered, on "Planets" we understand what could happen when that second guitarist doubles as second keyboardist. Moreover, Frank takes a step back with his guitar, to the extent that he doesn't really play any solos on the entire album. This and the presence of orchestration on a few tracks puts "Planets" in a similar lineage to Dawn.

Indeed this 1981 album is much more overtly spacey than its predecessor, and it includes two lovely symphonic instrumentals. But elsewhere we have some great vocal tracks, like "On the Verge of Darkening Lights", that contains a gorgeous melody sung by Bornemann in the middle, surrounded by impelling keyboard work. This track ends in an ambient haze before we are jolted to life by the upbeat "Point of No Return". The theme of a collapsing civilization is captured by the musical movements and the lyrics of its chorus, as the population sways and loses control. The two epics are "Mysterious Monolith" and Sphinx. Both are built around the sort of riff that implants in one's subconscious, and the latter includes another elegant middle section with Bornemann in fine voice. "Queen of the Night" and the closer "Carried by Cosmic Winds" both feature gentle starts before they become more fitful, and female vocal accompaniment that works far better than it did on Silent Cries, perhaps because the rip off factor is not nearly so evident. It sounds fresh.

With "Planets", Eloy changed yet again and ensured its survival for at least a few more years. An easy 4 stars.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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