Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Alone In The Universe
First album as ELO for 14 years from Mr Blue Sky, and it’s been well worth the wait.
The last album Jeff Lynne released was 2012’s Long Wave, a collection of covers of the sort of music (Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry) he grew up listening to in Birmingham. But the last album bearing the ELO imprint was 2001’s Zoom, a largely solo affair bearing contributions from a cast of 10, including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, ex-squeeze Rosie Vela and daughter Laura Lynne on backing vocals.
Alone In The Universe is an appropriately solipsist title because, notwithstanding the ELO moniker glowing promisingly at the top of the front cover, this time Lynne really is on his tod. On Alone... Lynne wrote, produced and arranged every note at home in Los Angeles, and handled all vocal and instrumental duties (guitar, bass, drums, piano, synths, cello) with the exception of shaker and tambourine, which are played by his engineer, and backing vocals on a couple of tracks from his daughter.