Jeff Lynne’s ELO - “From Out of Nowhere” Album Review

Story posted November 6, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

Triumphantly returning once again with an exhibition of his nostalgic sound, writer, producer, musician and singer Jeff Lynne is still going strong at the age of 71 with his latest album “From Out of Nowhere.” Solely carrying the torch without any other members returning from the initial Electric Light Orchestra ensemble, Lynne impressively captures his iconic music’s familiar soul effortlessly.

One of music’s most legendary phenomena, Jeff Lynne was the bold leader of the Electric Light Orchestra during its peak in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He spawned hit after hit and provided the world with several beloved tracks such as “Don’t Bring Me Down,” “Strange Magic,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and countless others. However, Lynne’s musical accomplishments reach far beyond just his work with ELO. He is credited with bringing the Beatles back together to record demo tapes left behind by the late John Lennon after a 24-year break. He also brought together some of music’s biggest names in George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and himself to form the Traveling Wilburys.

Although he has found huge success in the years since parting with his initial band, Lynne has always had an undying affection for his work with the Electric Light Orchestra. In 2015, Lynne decided to single-handedly unearth the band to create his very own passion project, renamed Jeff Lynne’s ELO. His album “Alone in the Universe,” released after a long 14-year hiatus, was met with overwhelming acclaim and was even certified platinum. Riding the high of widespread audience and critic praise, Lynne returns with another brilliant display of his celebrated classic sound with “From Out of Nowhere.”

Erupting onto the album with the record’s exceptional title track, Lynne proves that he hasn’t lost his touch by wielding a sound that is astonishingly reminiscent of his iconic early work. Meshing radiating synths against his exceptional voice, “From Out of Nowhere” feels as though it were lifted directly from ELO’s heyday.

The record then continues to grasp listeners with the catchy “Help Yourself,” the lulling “All My Love” and the mellow “Down Came the Rain.” Continuing to flesh out the sound of his previous work, Lynne effectively shines the spotlight on some of the softer sounds of the ELO aesthetic.

However, Lynne is more than capable at showcasing the rocking nature of the ELO sound with tracks such as “Time of Our Life,” an addictive song devoted to the fans who restored his love for touring during a recent performance at Wembley Stadium.

“From Out of Nowhere” is brimming with sentimentality for his earlier work and captures the original sound of ELO with remarkable success.

While many of the songs on the album are very reminiscent of classic ELO, they do tend to fall short of coming anywhere near surpassing their predecessors. That being said, the album is notably cohesive, and each track feels perfectly utilized.

It is always exciting to see when a musician has secured his or her sound and continues to wield it with the same level of potency as when he or she first discovered it. Jeff Lynne is an undeniably exceptional figure in music, and his ability to craft an album with such impressive revisiting potential is truly inspiring. Although the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee has nothing left to prove, hopefully Lynne will continue to magnificently capture the cherished sound of his glory days while also potentially providing a challenge to his earlier work by further diversifying his sound.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “From Out of Nowhere”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: N/A

 

Scott Perdue is a junior majoring in secondary education. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.