ARTIST:

ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

BALANCE OF POWER

(1986)
LABEL:

CBS

GENRE:

ROCK

TAGS:
Easy-Listening
"If "Secret Messages" had left a bitter taste to the band's fans, "Balance Of Power" comes to deal them the final blow."
CORTO1809 (17.08.2013)  
1/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Three years have passed since the mediocre "Secret Messages". Kelly Groucutt left Electric Light Orchestra as soon as the recording of this album was finished and the other members are seriously considering individual careers and are about to split up. But the band owes CBS one last record before everyone can regain their freedom. It is thus in the form of a trio (Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy) that ELO presents itself to record "Balance Of Power".

The genesis of this album explains its poor quality, not to say its destitution. It is a commissioned album, a simple contractual obligation and the musicians are absent subscribers. We don't feel the slightest involvement, not an ounce of enthusiasm from one end to the other. Jeff Lynne plays almost all the instruments, leaving Richard Tandy to play a few scores of synthesizers quite unpleasant. Bev Bevan, who has already decided to join Black Sabbath, has put himself in "rhythm box" mode and accompanies all the tracks with a particularly annoying metronomic cadence, assisted by a monolithic bass. Although the tracks are short (only one exceeds four minutes), each one seems to be endless, proof of the lack of enthusiasm they generate. In fact, the album is the shortest of all ELO's (barely 33 minutes for 10 tracks) but it would be unwise to complain about it.

ELO has abandoned the desire to surprise, to break the rhythms, to introduce exogenous elements. The melodies unwind their couplet/chorus alternation mechanically and only Jeff Lynne's writing quality saves the album from complete disaster. The orchestra has definitively disappeared and the few intrusions of a sax, however sympathetic they may be, are not enough to fill the void left by the strings. Only title to break the monotony, 'Endless Lies' benefits from some variations, some illuminations of which Jeff Lynne has the secret. This title, with its breaks in rhythm, its parts sung with conviction, is miraculous. 

If "Secret Messages" had left a bitter taste to the band's fans, "Balance Of Power" comes to deal them the final blow. After a rich career, ELO seems to have nothing more to say and closes for many years a page that perhaps it should have closed earlier.


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





TRACK LISTING:
01. Heaven Only Knows - 02:52
02. So Serious - 02:38
03. Getting To The Point - 04:28
04. Secret Lives - 03:26
05. It Is Alright - 03:25
06. Sorrow About To Fall - 03:59
07. Without Someone - 02:48
08. Calling America - 03:26
09. Endless Lies - 02:55
10. Send It - 03:04

LINEUP:
Bev Bevan: Batterie / Percussions
Christian Shneider (invité): Saxophone (6)
Jeff Lynne : Chant / Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Choeurs
Richard Tandy: Claviers / Séquences programmées
   
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READERS
3/5 (1 view(s))
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2.3/5 (3 view(s))
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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA: Secret Messages (1983)
ROCK - "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.
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