Note: the CD I listened to was not the 2013 reissue.
I'll confess: I'm a closet ELO fan (is there any other kind?). This is essentially a Jeff Lynne solo album, but that really doesn't matter. The retro-futuristic-Beatleseque-time-warp ELO sound had made a 21st century comeback. Sure it's overproduced and formulaic, but its enjoyable. Unfortunately, there really wasn't much of a market left for a '70s group that hadn't released an album since 1986 and hadn't released a decent album since 1979 (not counting the wonderful half-album of ELO magic that is Xanadu). There's no standout lead single, but even if there had been, where would it have it gotten airplay? Lynne's songwriting skills benefited from the time away from the band: music from this album would have fit well around 1978 between Out Of The Blue and Discovery. Bottom line: if you liked ELO in the '70s, you'll like this group of songs.
You might also want to check out L.E.O. - Alpacas Orgling (2006).
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #94
Tracks: highlights include Alright, State Of Mind, It Really Doesn't Matter, and Lonesome Lullaby. Ballads have never been Lynne's forte and there's quite a few slow tunes here; I'm always tempted to skip Just For Love, In My Own Time. The song Melting In The Sun shows that all hours working with Tom Petty have rubbed off on Lynne.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This album went out of print not long after its release. I found this CD on eBay last year after reading about it while looking at online reviews of the aforementioned Alpacas Orgling CD.
I want credit for never using the phrase "ELO has been recharged" in this post.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Xanadu Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1980)
ELO's Greatest Hits (1979)