Music Review: JEFF LYNNE’S ELO – ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE (2015)

JEFF LYNNE’S ELO – ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE (2015) ∗∗∗½
Tracks: “When I Was a Boy” / “Love and Rain” / “Dirty to the Bone” / “When the Night Comes” / “The Sun Will Shine on You” / “Ain’t It a Drag” / “All My Life” / “I’m Leaving You” / “One Step at a Time” / “Alone in the Universe”  Bonus Tracks: “Fault Line” / “Blue”
All songs written by Jeff Lynne
Produced by Jeff Lynne
Musicians: Jeff Lynne – All instruments except the shaker and the tambourine; Steve Jay – shaker, tambourine, engineer; Laura Lynne – background vocals on “Love and Rain” and “One Step at a Time”.
Last year’s triumphant performance at Radio 2’s Hyde Park gig spurred Jeff Lynne back into writing songs for a new ELO album and tour. It’s been 14 years since the last ELO album, the overlooked and underrated Zoom, and here Lynne effectively produces a solo album under the band’s name. He brings in a range of influences from his heroes – The Beatles (“When I was a Boy” and “The Sun Will Shine on You”) and Roy Orbison (“Blue”) – to hints of disco (“One Step at a Time”) and reggae (“When the Night Comes”) in a varied collection of melodic songs. Whilst the album doesn’t reach the heights of the band’s classic mid-1970s period – A New World Record, Out of the Blue – and lacks the sustained excellence of 2001’s Zoom, this is still a classy selection.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Hyde Park Concert to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray

Jeff Lynne’s ELO concert at Hyde Park last September will be released on both DVD and Blu-Ray on 11 September 2015. The concert, in which the band were backed by  demonstrated the true strengths of this underrated band and in particular the humble Jeff Lynne. The audience lapped up every song in the set and it was a truly memorable night.

The songs performed were:-
“All Over the World”
“Evil Woman”
“Ma-Ma-Ma Belle”
“Showdown”
“Livin’ Thing”
“Strange Magic”
“10538 Overture”
“Can’t Get It Out of My Head”
“Sweet Talkin’ Woman”
“Turn to Stone”
“Steppin’ Out”
“Handle With Care”
“Don’t Bring Me Down”
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King”
“Telephone Line”
“Mr. Blue Sky”
“Roll Over Beethoven”

A feature-length documentary will also be included on the discs.