Jeff Lynne, the man behind the Electric Light Orchestra, one of the most creative and timeless pop groups of the 70’s and 80’s, has released a new solo album of cover songs. Titled, "Long Wave," Lynne takes the opportunity to pay tribute to the various styles and artists who have influenced him throughout his long, prosperous career. Based on the selections on this release, you could truly justify the eclecticism of Lynne’s recordings throughout the years.
Lynne plays all the instruments on this album, and the songs are at their strongest when he uses his signature vocal arrangements that have figured so prominently in his music, particularly on the Charles Aznavour standard, "She," and "Running Scared" by the late Roy Orbison, one of Lynne’s bandmates in the 1980’s supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys.
Several Broadway classics are featured on this collection. The Rodgers and Hart staple, "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," and the famous "If I Loved You," from the 1945 musical, "Carousel," are both included, in addition to "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" and the Charlie Chaplin piece, "Smile." Purists will scratch their heads at listening to Lynne’s vocal on these tunes, but fans of his work will accept his versions of these tunes as the expansive risks of an artist with little to prove at this point.
More predictable choices include Chuck Berry’s "Let It Rock," considering the Electric Light Orchestra’s early success covering Berry’s "Roll Over Beethoven," and the Alvin Lee rocker, "Mercy Mercy," whose bluesy sound provides a sensible fit for those familiar with Lynne’s work. He also adds "So Sad," a 1973 song from Beatle George Harrison, another former bandmate (along with Bob Dylan and Tom Petty) from the Wilburys, to the setlist.
The recording is short: out of the eleven tracks, none of them reaches the three-minute mark. However, it is nice to have some new sounds from a timeless rock-and-roller.
CD and Digital formats