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ELO
Zoom
label: sony / legacy
released: 06.12.01
our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
buy it: amazon

It's Electric!
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent

I was too young to get caught up in the magical era of the Electric Light Orchestra during the 1970s. Instead, it was one of the more interesting albums that I discovered in my older brother’s vinyl collection as I was growing up and looking for an alternative to Bros and Wet Wet Wet.

Tracks like "Last Train To London," "Shine A Little Love" and "The Diary of Horace Whimp" still hold their own and are gems from a musical age that has long gone. Or at least I thought it had gone. Because the unique sound of ELO is back, amazingly, with their first album of new material since 1986.

Putting it in the CD player and pressing play is like jumping into a time machine to a land of care-free, revolutionary music that embraced rock and electric keyboards alike. The sound has not changed but the world it rings into has, making Zoom a classic piece of contemporary nostalgia.

The first single, "Alright," slots straight into the well-remembered ELO idyllic world of synthesisers, guitars and high harmonies - and it’s a gem. Other gleaming tracks include "Stranger On A Quiet Street," "Really Doesn’t Matter At All" and "Ordinary Dream." It’s not one of the finest albums that you’ll read about in this column, and it won’t trouble the charts too much, but it is at home in the ELO collection just as much as the early albums were.

The only concern to me is how much of its appeal is genuine and how much of it is down to nostalgia and novelty of their return. Whatever the source of the magic, it’s worth checking out.

 

Tracklist:
1. Alright
2. Moment in Paradise
3. State of Mind
4. Just for Love
5. Stranger on a Quiet Street
6. In My Own Time
7. Easy Money
8. It Doesn't Really Matter
9. Ordinary Dream
10. A Long Time Gone
11. Melting in the Sun
12. All She Wanted
13. Lonesome Lullabye