ARTIST:

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

SECRET MESSAGES

(1983)
LABEL:

CBS

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening
""Secret Messages" confirms what listening to ELO's albums from "Out Of The Blue" onwards had predicted: a band losing momentum, lacking inspiration and struggling to renew itself."
CORTO1809 (15.08.2013)  
2/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Two years have passed since their last album, the highly inspired "Time". Even if it's been a long time since Electric Light Orchestra stopped surprising us by constantly repeating the same old strings, Jeff Lynne's undeniable gift for finding beautiful melodies has allowed the band to release at worst pleasant albums, when they weren't authentic masterpieces. Unfortunately, it seems that "Secret Messages" brings nothing new to ELO's career.

One even shudders in retrospect at the idea that Jeff Lynne originally wanted to make a double album out of it, so much the tracks on this record seem so uninspired. Fortunately the production company opposed this idea, avoiding to the listeners an indigestion of titles not really bad but rather unremarkable. Because, that's the paradox of this album, it's difficult to find on "Secret Messages" other flaws than a feeling of déjà entendu and a lack of freshness and enthusiasm. Since "Out Of The Blue", ELO has been self-parodying, seeming unable or no longer willing to renew itself to surprise. Moreover, the originality of the early string trio has given way to a more conventionally used orchestra, which is more and more frequently replaced by the acidic layers and dated embellishments of the synthesizers.

As a result, we balance between the "not bad but already done" tracks ('Secret Messages', 'Four Little Diamonds', Train Of Gold', 'Rock'n'Roll Is King'), the "uninspired" ones ('Take Me On And On', 'Time After Time', 'Danger Ahead') and the "deserved better" ones ('Loser Gone Wild', Bluebird', 'Stranger', Letter From Spain'). All the tracks are similar, none of them try to free themselves from the strict verse/chorus structure, the instruments blend into a permanent tutti dominated by synths and accompanied by dripping choruses that were the band's trademark, but which lack a bit of conviction on this album to make us really adhere to it. It's not Mik Kaminski's poor violin solo on the last track nor the phrases recorded backwards that you can hear at the beginning and the end of the album that will change anything. The tracks are stuck in the arrangements typical of the early 80's and even if it would be interesting to hear some of them in a purer and more acoustic interpretation ("deserved them better"), the whole seems quite clumsy and artificial.

"Secret Messages" confirms what listening to ELO's albums from "Out Of The Blue" onwards had predicted: a band losing momentum, lacking inspiration, struggling to renew itself. If "Time" had given hope for a second youth, "Secret Messages" sounds the death knell of the band. A melodic knell, but a knell nonetheless.


More informations on http://www.elomusic.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Secret Messages - 04:43
02. Lose Gone Wild - 05:25
03. Bluebird - 04:06
04. Take Me On And On - 05:02
05. Time After Time - 04:00
06. Four Little Diamonds - 04:05
07. Stranger - 04:27
08. Danger Ahead - 03:53
09. Letter From Spain - 02:51
10. Train Of Gold - 04:21
11. Rock'n'Roll Is King - 03:45

LINEUP:
Bev Bevan: Batterie / Percussions
Dave Morgan (invité): Choeurs
Jeff Lynne : Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Percussions, Choeurs
Kelly Groucutt: Basse / Choeurs
Louis Clark: Chef d'orchestre
Mik Kaminski (invité): Violon (11)
Richard Tandy: Claviers / Harmonica (10)
   
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READERS
4/5 (1 view(s))
STAFF:
2.3/5 (3 view(s))
MY RATING
 
 
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