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Electric Light Orchestra - Discovery CD (album) cover

DISCOVERY

Electric Light Orchestra

 

Crossover Prog

2.80 | 235 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars As with most ELO music, the contents of this album are largely contagious whether it's liked or not. This 1979 record is largely danceable pop and disco (intriguingly, the word "disco" makes up five of the nine letters of Discovery).

"Shine a Little Love" When I queued this up this morning, my son even ran over, bobbing his head, smiling, and he told me it was "funny music." I agree with the lad. This is eccentric disco pop with only a vestige of progressiveness with comical, eccentric bits.

"Confusion" This moderate pop song with high-pitched vocals (echoed by a vocoder) has only slight traces of a baroque influence. Lynne's singing during the verses is just fine, but the other funny business is harebrained.

"Need Her Love" Slowing things down with a piano, strings, and bluesy lead guitar would seem to be a good move at this point. The lead guitar, like the song overall, goes down smooth.

"The Diary of Horace Wimp" This is one of the most charming, fun, bouncy tunes ELO ever put together, about a timid tardy chap who gets a little nudge in toward gumption from the heavens, going from nearly getting fired to getting married all in the span of a week. It's one of my favorite songs by them.

"Last Train to London" ELO may have gone disco, but this here is the way to do it: A funky bass groove pushing things along with bursts of strings, catchy melodies, and a killer falsetto hook.

"Midnight Blue" Taking the mood back down again, "Midnight Blue" opens with crystalline synthesizer and vocoder, followed by a downy number.

"On the Run" ELO had far more hits than duds when it comes to individual tracks, but this definitely falls into the latter category- ludicrously rendered pop that borders on irritating. Even the electronic tones are abrasively bad.

"Wishing" Opening with a tranquil passage featuring a whistling synthesizer, the band moves into a bit of easy listening with good vocals and nice strings.

"Don't Bring Me Down" The final song might have been one of those I'd have written off after but a few listens, but I think we've all heard it so many times (it is one of ELO's most famous tracks, even with its hilariously bad video) that it has tricked us into liking it in spite of itself. Since this bit of trivia comes up frequently whenever this song is heard or mentioned, I'll make a note of it here: The lyric is not "Bruce," but a bastardization of Gruß, which is German for "greeting." However, Lynne would sing "Bruce" in live concerts for fun since the misheard lyrics was better known than the original.

Epignosis | 3/5 |

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