Time After Time E.L.O Aimed To Please
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 03/04/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's obvious that a lot of people were a little taken aback by the strongly disco inflectedDiscovery and the heavy electronic glossiness of Time. This was that albums follow up and you couldn't be in denial:it was 1983 and a lot of the synthesizer arrangements and production gloss that were ELO's trademark in the 70's were now par for the course. One of the things that have always helped ELO along,even though they are one of the more critically underappreciated rock bands is the fact that....well they have in many ways one of the most exciting pop/rock sounds to come along since The Beatles. Jeff Lynne always had the very good sense,knowing his music was considered to be prog rock to rely not on long winded instrumental solos and arrangements and rather on inventing melody and having the arrangements built on those. Most prog rock bands were already beginning to go in this direction in the early 80's anyway so ELO didn't have much to concern themselves with musically but keep writing great tunes. Of course there are three very basic rock n roll songs here the same as with any ELO album such a "Four Little Diamonds","Danger Ahead" and the hit "Rock & Roll Is King". All of these songs are good and catchy and all that but they all xerox the big hits from their previous few albbums. Much more interesting of the uptempo tunes are the title track,"Loser Gone Wild" and "Train Of Gold" which all owe more to new wave electro than progressive rock and pull off the concept with gusto. But these aren't exactly Duran Duran-they all manage to still be distinctively ELO. More intricate songs that take time to develop (always my personel favorite type of song anyway) such a "Blue Bird","Take Me On And On" and the beautiful,stripped down electronica of "Letter From Spain" are super examples how a band like this developed artistically when the tempo wasn't quite as fixed and drummer Bev Bevan,used to using a lot of fills in his sound rises to occasion with a lot of understatement here,to the point of sometimes barely playing at all. Some fans of ELO's mid to late 70's sound or classic rock fans in general might find this album possessed of more lightness of playing and delicate melodies (even on many of the faster songs) than they're used to but this is definately one of those ELO albums that is more than worth giving a chance if it doesn't instantly grab you."
Take Me On And On
Dark Star-The Other One | The Bus To Never Ever Land | 04/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those albums I've liked ever since it was first released on vinyl back in '83. I never could understand why it wasn't more popular. The band decides to have some fun with all of those groups who were going around claiming that there were "secret hidden backward messages" on certain rock albums. Unfortunately, this mental instability also lead to things like record burnings and ELO was one of the groups targeted. The album starts with the fun and upbeat title song. Loser Gone Wild has a very surrealist sound to it. Bluebird is the band in classic ELO mode. Take Me On And On is a great ballad. Time After Time is okay but really isn't a standout for me much like Letter From Spain and Train Of Gold. Four Little Diamonds is a classic ELO rock song with a driving beat and cool lyrics. Stranger is a nice upbeat ballad while Danger Ahead and Rock And Roll is King takes us back to rock and roll mode. The three bonus cuts are made up of two single b-sides and an unreleased version of Endless Lies which would turn up rearraged on Balance of Power. I like this version on here better No Way Out is good but the instrumental After All is better. The only real complaint is: this was originally planned as a two record set and I wish, rather than dribbling some of the unreleased stuff out on the box sets, they could've put it all out on here as bonus tracks."