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Lynne; Jeff: Long Wave

Few artists can have such a recognisable sound as uber-producer, and Electric Light Orchestra mainman Jeff Lynne. Whether it is famed compositions with ELO, or his collaborations with the likes of Tom Petty, The Travelling Wilburys, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, or The Beatles, one quick listen to the production and you know exactly who expertly twiddled those knobs. Something immediately evident on Lynne's first solo (and I do mean solo - he handles all the instruments, vocals and production) venture since 1990 and in truth that fact is maybe to the detriment of Long Wave. It would be lovely to welcome Lynne back with a set of songs that capture the imagination, prove he still has fire in his belly and wants to at least peer out over new ground, if not quite explore it. However a covers album that harks back to the 50s and 60s isn't it. It could have been, but all too faithful, if Lynne-ified takes on "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered", "Mercy Mercy" and "If I Loved You" simply fail to take off and in the cold light of day are all just a bit ordinary.

While those masters of picking up the old, giving them a polish and sending them out shiny and new - Frontiers Records, have sprinkled their fairy dust successfully over the likes of Whitesnake, Journey and Toto, Long Wave and Lynne seems to finally show that not all these Italian masters touch is indeed gold. Although a re-recorded ELO Best Of, which was released at the same time as this album, does fare better.

Long time Lynne fans may simply be satisfied with new music from their hero, but I'd be a little surprised if even they didn't hope for at least a little uptempo goodness, the odd bit of bombastic Mr blue-sky reaching, or even just a good hard beat to get a hold of. To suggest Long Wave is steady, relaxed, languid and sleepy to the point of torpor doesn't cover it. Oddly however, take each song in isolation and not one is poor, however listened to as a whole and there's no getting away from the feeling that the whole experience is all a little too, well... boring.

That may be harsh and I'm sure if music from the era the album covers is where your heart resides you'll disagree. However I'd be surprised if even one of Lynne's versions even comes close to replacing the original in the affection of your heart.

Track Listing
1. She
2. If I Loved You
3. So Sad
4. Mercy Mercy
5. Running Scared
6. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
7. Smile
8. At Last
9. Love Is A Many Splendored Thing
10. Let It Rock
11. Beyond The Sea

Added: January 25th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Frontiers Records
Hits: 1994
Language: english

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