From Out of Nowhere may be a new album but you know just what to expect; a spaceship on the cover, lush melodies and sweet harmonies all wrapped up with slick production values. This new offering from Jeff Lynne’s ELO (aka ELO) delivers just that, as the pleasing melody of the title track attests to – which recalls his chart topping work with Tom Petty. It is lovingly crafted and further testament to Mr Lynne’s enviable knack for writing pop songs – not that we needed further proof of this.
The problem though is that the majority of the tracks do not live long in the memory, there is nothing arresting like ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, ‘Turn To Stone’ or ‘10538 Overture’. Do not get me wrong nothing here is bad it just too homogenised, it lacks a bit of variety. The laid back ‘All My Love’ with its soaring, multi layered harmonies and the ballad ‘Losing You’ are both pleasant enough but their charms do not last. It is middle of the road fare, as the 1950s, do wop-esque ‘Goin Out on Me’ testifies to.
‘Time of Our Life’ stands out on account of its sheer joy, accounting ELO’s sold out gig at Wembley in 2017 and the frontman’s sense of elation. As does ‘One More Time’ as it takes the pace beyond what is otherwise a leisurely stroll, it is the kind of boogie woogie rock and roll that has served Status Quo so well. Otherwise, like ‘Down Came the Rain’, it is relaxed but slightly too forgetful pop rock that radiates a nostalgic warmth reflecting Mr Lynne’s illustrious career.
ELO’s 14th album is a pleasant if nonessential 32 minutes of melodious, sweetly harmonised pop rock with lush production. This record may be bang average but it is great to see him back.