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Electric Light Orchestra: Time (remaster)

ELO enters the world of concept albums and time travel on their 1981 opus Time, a release that takes the formula of Out of the Blue to its logical conclusion. At this point though there were no strings present in ELO's music, totally replaced by synthesizers (the Oberheim being their weapon of choice at the time), giving these songs less of a classical flair and more of a spacey, futuristic prog rock feel. Jeff Lynne's pop sensibility is still in fine form, as songs like "The Lights Go Down", "Hold On Tight", "Ticket to the Moon", and "From the End of the World" all contain those melodies we have come to love from this band, but instead of the soaring violins and cellos you have Richard Tandy's layers of electric piano and synths. Check out the bubbling and symphonic outbursts in the upbeat "Here is the News", the gorgeous orchestral washes on the Beatles flavored "21st Century Man", the eerie vocodor on "Prologue", and the utterly irresistible "Twilight", a song that would not have been out of place on Out of the Blue or Discovery, complete with Bev Bevan's crashing drums, bassist Kelly Groucutt's rich backing vocals, and Tandy's huge piano and synth layers. "Yours Truly, 2095" is another interesting piece, filled with tons of synth blips and vocodor, and including lyrics about someone who falls for an IBM robot. The band even included an awesome instrumental (something I wish they did more of) called "Another Heart Breaks", with some neat call and response passages from Lynne's jangly guitar and Tandy's majestic keyboards.

The production was always excellent on this album, now sounding even crisper thanks to the remaster. Each song in the booklet features short commentary from Lynne and full lyrics, and you get three bonus tracks recorded during the Time sessions but not released on the original album. The best of the three are "The Bouncer", which is more of a rocker than the other songs on the album, and lets Lynne lay down some crunchy guitar work, and "When Time Stood Still" fits more in line with the rest of the songs, a very symphonic, synth laden futuristic number with pop hooks. Looking back on Time 26 years later, it's not quite as good as some of ELO's best, but it still is very solid as far as the songwriting and production goes. Sure, we all missed the strings, but by this point Jeff Lynne was interested in another direction.

Track Listing
1. Prologue
2. Twilight
3. Yours Truly, 2095
4. Ticket To The Moon
5. The Way Life's Meant To Be
6. Another Heart Breaks
7. Rain Id Falling
8. From The End Of The World
9. The Lgihts Go Down
10. Here Is The News
11. 21st Century Man
12. Hold On Tight
13. Epilogue
14. The Bouncer -bonus track
15. When Time Stood Still -bonus track
16. Julie Don't Live Here -bonus track

Added: July 24th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ELO Website
Hits: 2802
Language: english

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