Arts and Culture Music

Classic Album Highlight: Time (Electric Light Orchestra)

Electric Light Orchestra is a band that truly lives up to its grandiose title. Dazzling synths, relentless drums, and majestic strings outfit the 70s English rock band from Birmingham as the members delve into the depths of their imagination, bringing us an album that can stand amongst the great science fiction films and feel right at home. 

Jeff Lyne, creator and frontman of ELO, leads the charge into space, showcasing his mystical lyricism and beautiful orchestration that brings the world of Time to life. Rhythmic, pulsing melodies accent his cryptic words, which describe a future where life is caudled by technology until human existence persists in a kind of cyborg half-life, lacking real emotion or understanding and yet persisting all the same. As dreary as this sounds, the songs are anything but. Energetic rock bops like the album’s second track “Twilight” soundtrack our desperate race to an uncertain future, while slower ballads like “Ticket To the Moon ” offer melodic contemplation on the strangeness of the modern world. 

There are two sides to every album, and Time shows the extent to which a concept album can provoke the listeners mind as well as their ears. When wielded correctly, sound can create entire landscapes. It can sculpt memories from nothing, give life to imaginary beings, or create entirely unique worlds. And Time does just that. Its thematic and auditory consistency blend together in spectacular fashion, making the album more of an experience than simply music. Electric Light Orchestra has created something wholly unique with this record, proving themselves, once again to be entirely worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.