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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Electric Light Orchestra

Zoom

Review by Gary Hill

When Electric Light Orchestra came back with Zoom, I think a lot of fans had moved on to other things. That’s a shame because this really feels like a classic ELO album. It’s actually quite good. If you liked ELO around the time of Face the Music and A New World Record and haven’t heard this one, hurry up and get it. You’ll love it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Alright

This hard rocker is very much an ELO tune, start to finish. I like this one a lot. It’s a great way to start things in style.

Moment in Paradise
Feeling very much like something that would have been home on A New World Record, this is a slower, mellower, more melodic piece. I like it a lot.
State of Mind
Although the choruses and verses are more in line with what we expect from ELO, the verses seem closer to something Lynne might have done with Traveling Wilburys. Still, this is an entertaining and fun tune.
Just for Love
This pretty number has a lot of The Beatles in the mix. It’s a great melodic tune that’s very much like vintage ELO.
Stranger on a Quiet Street
A driving, energetic melodic rocker, this is distinctly ELO. It’s also quite a great piece. There is a bit of a soulful vibe to parts of this.
In My Own Time
This again feels very much like something that would have been at home on A New World Record to me. I like this slow, blues, prog rocker quite a bit. It’s a great combination of symphonic rock and old school rock and roll. The vocal and instrumental arrangements are both great.
Easy Money
Very much an old time rocker, this is classic. It does earn a small parental advisory on the lyrics. This is also trademark ELO.
It Really Doesn't Matter
I love the guitar soloing on this tune. It’s a slow moving, dreamy kind of Beatlesque ELO tune. It’s another that really feels like it could have come from the classic period of the band.
Ordinary Dream
Parts of this actually make me think of early Bee Gees just a little bit. It’s got a real 1960s vibe. It’s also get plenty of the symphonic ELO sound in the mix. This is such a great song that really does feel so much like the early period of the group.
A Long Time Gone
I love this song. It’s a slow moving, mellow piece. It’s packed full of emotion. It’s also packed full of classic ELO sounds.
Melting in the Sun
This melodic rocker is another new ELO classic. It’s catchy, and I like it a lot. There’s almost a bit of a Tom Petty vibe on the outro here.
All She Wanted
A bouncy little number, this is fun. It is also easily recognizable as ELO.
Lonesome Lullaby
More of an old school rocker, this has some psychedelia and bluesy rock built into it. Still, there are sections that land nearer to the trademark ELO sound.
One Day
The first of two bonus cuts, this is a pretty mainstream pop rock piece. It’s bouncy and entertaining, but not one of the best things here. Then again, it is a bonus track.
Turn to Stone (Live from CBS Television City)
Here we get a live ELO classic as the other bonus track. I like this a lot. It’s a great performance of a great song.
 
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