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Electric Light Orchestra - Eldorado CD (album) cover

ELDORADO

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

3.86 | 346 ratings

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Mr. Gone
4 stars Is this my favorite ELO album? No. Is it their most accomplished overall, their most ambitious, their most substantial? Probably. And certainly a terrific effort overall.

After "On the Third Day", Jeff Lynne eschewed the notion of overdubs for his string players and hired a full orchestra to give an expansive string sound to the "Orchestra". Additionally, bassist/backing vocalist Michael De Albuquerque, despite the credits here and on the album itself, was gone during this recording; Lynne himself sang all vocals and played bass on this album. So the sound is definitely different than its predecessor - and and while "Third Day" was certainly a solid album, this one stands almost on its own in their discography for quality and substance.

The bookend "Overture" and "Finale" segments are spoken word with somewhat interesting but ultimately non-essential musical elements. With that out of the way, much of what remains is interesting, distinctive and enjoyable.

"Can't Get It Out of My Head" is one of ELO's greatest songs. A huge hit, but just a great piece even without critical and public adulation. It sets the tone very nicely for this album.

"Boy Blue" is also awesome. Highly catchy and meaningful at the same time.

"Laredo Tornado" is almost disco-y, with its clavinet/guitar funkiness and its resigned anger. One of my favorite tracks on here and catchy without selling out.

"Poor Boy (The Greenwood)" is largely acoustically- based (for guitar, anyway), and while its meaning is still a mystery to me, it's fun and catchy - and a little lighter than its album bookends.

"Mr. Kingdom" is another of my favorites on here. Crunchy guitars and a bit of an angle of desperation here.

"Nobody's Child" is a bit Queen-ish and fun. An innocuous look at the protagonist in this complicated story.

The only song I've never liked is "Illusions in G-Major". Nothing horrid here - just a non-catchy melody and bizarre vocals.

The title cut, on the other hand, is almost as good as "Out of My Head". Great song. it sums up the "Walter Mitty" theme of the album, which has been slowly peeking out of corners of previous tracks along the way. A great penultimate album track with a catchy refrain and a lot of swirling backing vocals.

Like I said, this probably isn't my favorite ELO album. But it's almost certainly their most accomplished, and it's always a highly enjoyable listen. Four well-deserved stars.

Mr. Gone | 4/5 |

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