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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jeff Lynne's ELO

From Out of Nowhere

Review by Gary Hill

I think many consider this an Electric Light Orchestra album. I'm among that crowd. However, it's released under the name "Jeff Lynne's ELO," so that's how I'm listing it. I should also mention that if it weren't for the prog angle of ELO's catalog, I wouldn't land this under progressive rock. I mean, there are proggy elements here at times, but overall this is more mainstream pop rock. I'd also say that my biggest complaint is that it seems to play things very safely, focusing more on the familiar than anything more creative. Still, ELO and Lynne himself were always among the best at making that kind of music work, so this is a lot of fun.

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Track by Track Review
From Out of Nowhere
I dig the classic rock mode that starts this at the beginning. There is a real Beatles-like vibe to this. The arrangement has some real ELO trademarks brought largely by the backing vocals. This is catchy and classy.
Help Yourself
A bit like The Traveling Wilburys meets ELO, there are Beatles-esque vibes to this tune, too. While I prefer the opener to this one, there is a lot of magic here.
All My Love
I dig the groove on this. It's got the exact kind of sounds you expect from ELO, but also more of that Wilburys thing at play. I think it's a step down from the two previous cuts, but it's still strong. That tells you how good the others were. I don't really hear the Beatles leaning at all on this one. It's more of a mainstream rocker that even has some hints of soul music.
Down Came the Rain
I dig the bouncy groove on this cut. It's another killer pop rocker that feels very much like trademark ELO. It does feel rather by-the-numbers, though.
Losing You
This is of the slower variety. It's a pretty ballad that really feels like it could have come from the classic era of the band. It's rather sublime. It's definitely one of my favorites here. It gets pretty soulful before it's done.
One More Time
A fast-paced rocker, this has a lot of old-school rock and roll built into it. It's a fun romp.
Sci-Fi Woman
This is a bouncy rocker with that Wilburys meets ELO vibe in place. There are some cool science-fiction effects in small doses on this track. The cut has some small hints of jazzy here and there, too. It's interesting, but not really a standout.
Goin' Out on Me
Here we get a tune with a lot of 50s rock and roll in the mix. It also has plenty of ELO trademarks.
Time of Our Life
This is a fun ELO romp. It seems to be about the hey-days of the band.
A mellower groove is on display here. This is a slow moving, balladic piece that has some soulful angles.
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