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Alone in the Universe
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Jeff Lynne's ELO - Alone in the Universe
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Known as one of the most iconic forces in music history, Jeff Lynne's ELO is set to deliver their 2015 album which features the first new ELO music in 15 years. Lynne was the creative genius behind ELO which sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, had more than 20 Top 40 Hits across the U.S. and the U.K. and received countless awards and accolades. At the time of ELO's formation, Lynne had said the goal was to create modern rock and pop songs. A goal that remains true some 30 years later with the creation of new material. Lynne is among the most storied names in music history having created the hit group ELO, and serving as a founding member of the Grammy Award winning super group The Traveling Wilburys. He has produced and collaborated with The Beatles, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty and Joe Walsh. In 2015, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is an active philanthropist for organizations such as St. Jude Research Hospital, MUSICARES and H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Ease Abuse Related Trauma).
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language: : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.55 x 5 x 0.35 inches; 2.24 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Columbia
- Original Release Date : 2015
- Run time : 37 minutes
- Date First Available : September 25, 2015
- Label : Columbia
- ASIN : B015RND9H0
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#72,261 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- #35,749 in Rock (CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Anyway, from my very first listen I fell in love with this album. There are no tracks on this album that I’d classify as lower than 4 out of 5 stars. Pretty impressive for a guy who’s been writing music for several decades now! Jeff Lynne shows he’s still got the musical genius that made ELO such a success back in the 1970s.
For the casual ELO fans out there, don’t expect Out of the Blue, Part 2 with Alone in the Universe. To my ear, this album is a solid mix of 1980s ELO with Traveling Wilburys. The songs, to me, have an ELO feel to them (as opposed to a Jeff Lynne solo album feel) with a healthy dose of influence from Jeff Lynne’s Traveling Wilburys bandmates.
I would recommend this album to anyone looking for some short pop-rock songs and ballads with catchy melodies that only someone like Jeff Lynne could think up. Of course, anyone who is a fan of ELO or Jeff Lynne should add this album to their collection. Unlike many other artists Jeff Lynne’s age, I feel Alone in the Universe could be ranked in the mid-to-upper tiers of the ELO catalog, even amongst some of their mega albums of the 70s and 80s.
I have only had this album for a day now, but I’ll provide a very quick track-by-track review based on my impressions so far.
1. When I Was a Boy – the album kicks off with a solid 10/10 autobiographical ballad about Jeff Lynne’s musical roots. The chorus provides an incredibly infectious melody that I fell in love with immediately. This is one of those songs I could play on repeat over and over and not get tired of it. I absolutely love the content of the song (it’s so heartfelt) and the melody is one of my favorites out of ELO’s entire catalog! You can definitely hear the ELO influence on this song.
2. Love and Rain – another solid track. Not quite as infectious as the opening track, but still great nonetheless. This song sounds like it would have fit on ELO’s 2001 album Zoom. The change of pace about two-thirds of the way through the song keeps the song sounding fresh. Honestly, this song would begin to plod along if it weren’t for that little change-up partway through.
3. Dirty to the Bone – this song is a bit more of a rocker than the last two. Very catchy and probably one of my favorite songs on the album. Comparing to previous albums, this song would fit in well on Secret Messages or Balance of Power.
4. When the Night Comes – for me, this is the first song on the album that would only garner 4 out of 5 stars. While most songs written by Jeff Lynne are catchy to some extent, this song is probably one of the least catchy songs on the album. It almost has a reggae feel with an ELO twist. Throw this song on Balance of Power and it would fit in well.
5. The Sun Will Shine on You – my first impression of this song was somewhat unfavorable as well. However, after multiple listens it has definitely grown on me. I think what this song is missing is some of Jeff Lynne’s signature wall-of-sound filler. Throw some strings in between his words (he pauses a lot between the words of this song) and this song would feel more complete.
6. Ain’t it a Drag – ok, here comes the Traveling Wilburys influence. I can’t quite pinpoint who, but this definitely sounds like something that could’ve been co-written by another Traveling Wilbury (Dylan or Harrison maybe?) in another musical universe. The influence is a good thing – this song is more of a rocker and of course is catchy as well.
7. All My Life – wow, what a love song! Emotions run high for me with this one – I love it! The chorus (starting at “I’m so glad…”) is probably the second-best on the album after When I Was a Boy. Another solid 10/10 song.
8. I’m Leaving You – you can’t miss the influence of Roy Orbison (another Wilbury) on this song. If Roy Orbison were still alive today, this song would be perfect for him. It’s a shame we’ll never get to hear him cover this song. As much as I love Jeff Lynne’s voice, this song was made for Roy Orbison.
9. One Step at Time – this song is on the fence between 4 and 5 stars for me. Sometimes when I listen to it I love it; other times it sort of plods along. For what it’s worth, a lot of reviews rate this track very highly.
10. Alone in the Universe – the title track of the album is a transplant from the Time album, I swear. And that’s a good thing! Not only musically, but the lyrical content of the song could fit on Time. This is definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album so far.
11. Fault Line (bonus track) – this is a fun, simple little track. I’m glad it’s a bonus track though, as I don’t think it would’ve really fit to well on the album proper. It almost feels like a demo or incomplete song.
12. Blue (bonus track) – if I had to pick one color that would be on this album, blue would be it (Out of the Blue, Midnight Blue, Mr. Blue Sky, etc…). This is a nice track that I think would’ve fit well on Jeff Lynne’s solo album, Armchair Theatre.
"When I was a boy, I had a dream," states Jeff Lynne in the opening track. My boyhood dreams were much like his, I think, at least as he presents them in this very personal album, where he sings about all those things that a man can feel (women too), like loss, betrayal, love, loneliness, longing and, of course, memories . . . of dreams realized and not realized.
Jeff plays virtually every instrument on this album and sings all the vocals, save two tracks with beautiful backing harmonies by his daughter, Laura Lynne, and a little help from Steve Jay with shakers and tambourine. His playing and vocal abilities have not given in to age, only becoming smoother and silkier. I was amazed by the superb sound quality of every one of these songs, even the bonus tracks, "Fault Line" and "Blue." So glad to see that blue is still a recurring theme for Jeff, included also in the track, "When The Night Comes." Maybe now I will finally do that playlist I have been planning of ELO blue themed songs.
Track number 8, "I'm Leaving You," is an obvious tribute to Roy Orbison. I can almost hear the Traveling Wilburys here!
Another fine addition to the lineage and limited scope of great one-man-band albums, Jeff Lynne's Alone In The Universe is right up there with the best of them: McCartney, Emitt Rhodes and A Wizard, A True Star. The quality and caliber of the writing, arrangements and playing is exquisite, just as you would expect from a Rock & Roll master like Jeff Lynne.
Thank you, Jeff, for gracing us with your inspiration and beauty once again. I am so grateful that you have.
Top reviews from other countries
A flawless pressing only let down slightly by a small and acceptable warp. This sometimes happens with 180g vinyl, it's cooled too quickly. Other than some surface noise, only discernable between tracks, there are no clicks, pops etc. at all. I have noticed that modern records have a tendency for poor quality and surface abrasions, not this one. I've lso transferred to a paper inner sleeve - don't like the stiff card versions.
This album is a typical mix of ELO style music - well it is all written by Jeff Lynne! I loved it, being an ELO fan throgh the years.
Jeff Lynne's musical talent if further evident because he plays all the instruments, bar one and sings too. A couple of tracks with vocal backing from Laura Lynne makes this a sole Lynne effort. With mastering by Bob Ludwig what could be better?
Superb album "art", lyrics and credits. This is what the "digital" generation miss out on. It's all part of the analogue record experience. Although it probably is digitally recorded and mastered.
I like it.