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Electric Light Orchestra - ELO Part II: Electric Light Orchestra Part Two CD (album) cover


Electric Light Orchestra


Crossover Prog

2.43 | 65 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars ELO had called it quit some years ago. I have to say that I had suffered quite a lot with their last studio albums (from "Time" to "Balance Of Power"). After a six years break, a founding member (Bevan) and two veteran ones (Kaminski, already present on their third release and Groucutt, since "A New World Record") got the idea to recreate the ELO sound of their early days. Since Lynne did not agree to join, the name ELO had to be converted into ELO Part Two.

I have read on this site that ELO without Lynne was like the Floyd without Waters. I'm afraid I can not agree with this statement. As far as I know, Gilmour was another major PF member. I would rather do the comparison with Jethro Tull with Ian Anderson or Van Der Graaf Generator withour Hammill for instance. Jeff Lynne WAS ELO on his own.

I have rated their last three albums with one star only, so when I discovered that ELO had recorded an album without Jeff (which I had no clue about before I read this on PA) I was kind of very reluctant to listen to it. Should I go for a zero star rating (although impossible) ?

From the very first notes, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Nice melody : the ELO sound like in ancient times and Eric Troyer's voice which sounds quite close to Jeff's one. There won't be any extraordinary songs here : just a bunch of good tracks like "Hello" which lyrics are incredibly true and I cannot skip to mention a good part of it here. They represent exactly my feeling (and I guess that a lot of people should think so if they would listen to this song) : "Hello Hello, it's great to see you once again, It's been so long, We were such friends, Long time ago. Hello Hello, your smiling face, Your warm embrace, We've been apart, Far too long, It felt so wrong. Nice to know, you're coming over, Nice to know, the wait is over". What do you think about that ?

"Honest Man", "One Upon A Time" and "Thousand Eyes" as well as "Kiss Me Red" are good pop songs. Sub-par of course when compared to ELO masterpieces, but so much superior to what they have produced for the last five albums.

Several tracks explores a heavier side like : "Every Night", "Heart of Hearts" and the closing number "Easy Street". The AOR "Heartbreaker" is one of the few poor tracks here (with "For the Love of a Woman" probably). Still, I prefer these in comparison with the very poor disco/ synth pop we had to endure for so many years.

I am really glad this line-up produced this record (although since it is not ELO, it should not be featured as such but well under a separate entry IMO). What a pity that Jeff didn't want to join. I guess we could have gotten a really good album would it have been the case.

Nevertheless, I decently enjoyed this come back and as an encouragement I will rate it three stars. Just give it a spin if you have liked their 1975-1977 period from "Face The Music" to "Out Of The Blue".

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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