Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jeff Lynne's New One

New music from Jeff Lynne is as rare as good music from Rod Stewart these days. So when I first heard of a new Jeff Lynne record I just about plotzed. Seconds later when I found out it was a collection of covers, coupled with a companion release of rerecorded ELO tunes (more publishing issues), I thought, "Well, so much for Jeff Lynne."

I don't hate "Long Wave." Looking at the tracklist, it's hard to believe I bothered listening at all. But I'm a fan through and through. Idle Race, The Move, ELO, Wilburys...I love it all. I had to give it a shot, even with the umpteenth unnecessary version of "At Last" and a cover of Don Covay's "Mercy, Mercy" that did nothing for me two weeks prior.

Thing is this, if you're not a fan of the Electric Light Orchestra or of Jeff Lynne's very distinctive fart sound, snare drum production, maybe you should just move on. But, if you are a fan of beautiful harmonies and jangly guitars and the ELO hits of the 70's, "Long Wave" delivers...surprisingly...on almost of its ridiculously short running time of 28 minutes.

Lynne can still sing and his ear for harmony is still sharp, so songs like Charles Aznavour's "She" and standards like "If I Loved You" from "Carousel" and "Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered" from "Pal Joey" do not come off as novelty. These songs meant something to Lynne growing up and he respects them. Same with the Everlys "So Sad" and Roy Orbison's "Running Scared." I was impressed and truly taken aback by how much I enjoyed what I originally had plans to trash.

The only missteps are Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" which seems to end abruptly, as if it was an afterthought and the aforementioned "At Last." I don't care what that song means to Jeff, he should have had the foresight to just not release another damn version.

It's hard to recommend "Long Wave" for obvious reasons, but as I already stated, if you're a fan of the man, this is absolutely worth 28 minutes of your time.


Gene Oberto said...

EXCEPT that Mr. Lynne's 28 minute stroll down memory lane costs on Amazon 10 bucks for the CD and 7 bucks for the mp3. That comes out to 38¢ a minute on the CD and 25¢ for the mp3. Pretty steep for a one time turn down songs my parents played street.

Artists and labels think THEY'RE getting ripped off!

Sal Nunziato said...

Didn't even consider that, Gene. Good point.

jeff k said...

This is just one of those cds that I plug into spotify and listen to when I want without buying. it's not bad. it is what it is, a pleasant half hour of music.

jeff k said...

PS: six fucking times trying to read that captcha

buzzbabyjesus said...

At least it's only 28 minutes.

Jeff K

When I can't read the captcha, I click on the refresh icon to the left of the speaker until I get one I can read.

jeff k said...

thanks, buzz, I've done that too, but what often happens is I think I can read them but then miss something small. I've seen much better systems than captchas but it may be that this is blogger's only way.

Sal Nunziato said...

Poor Jeff Lynne.

Anonymous said...

Much like you Sal, I was disheartened to learn the new Jeff Lynne album would have no original material.
Again like you, I can't believe how much I'm loving Ling Wave. He sounds fresh and inspired.
Beyond The Sea brings back his Idle Race guitar tones, which always sounded Brian May-esque to me. And that was then Brian was still putting together his Red Special.
I didn't hear the reworked ELO album yet, but I'd like to hear the one new song found there.


DaveF said...

As a Jeff Lynne fan I too wish the running time was longer by about triple however I think Jeff was trying to replicate a vinyl long player of his early days which indeed would have lasted roughly 30 minutes in length. I don't think Jeff will win over any new fans with this release and I don't think he's even trying to or really even cares for that matter. This is a labor of love for the fans that grew up alongside Jeff who are now in their 50's and 60's...it's them he's reaching out to and if younger fans like it great if not see ya.
Besides it's new music from Jeff Lynne accept it as the gift it is and not quibble about how much each tune costs per minute. I'm just thankful for Jeff's new release period.