With Secret Messages
, Lynne falls completely off the melodic high he'd been riding with Time
(hell, with Xanadu
too) and produces an album so fundamentally boring as to be nearly non-existent.
The album netted only "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" as a hit single, and fell off the charts quickly, since left to the dustbin of history, and the dollar bin everywhere else.
has all the artificial musicianship of Time
(syndrums, syn-orchestra, synsoul, syn-melodies), but none of the heart, melodies, atmosphere, concept, or wit. In short, whatever synth/rock pitfalls Time
deftly avoided, this one drops into faster than a chicken nugget into Roseanne's mouth.
The whole record has so few memorable sections that it flies by in seemingly half of its 46 minutes, blending in with the wallpaper and sliding past your memory cells as if coated with Teflon. Pretty much all the songs sound the same, but I'd like to mention that the chorus to "Loser Gone Wild" provokes mental pictures that are probably half influenced by Taxi Driver
, and half Chris Farley movies. Probably not what was intended, but with Lynne, who knows?
There's more of that retro stuff like on Time
, but it's so 50's prefab and artificial that "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" makes me lust after the days of "Roll Over Beethoven", not to mention real-life no-kidding actual rockers like "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle".
There's also a stretch - unequalled in the ELO catalog - of seven songs ("Bluebird" to "Letter From Spain") without one single lousy hook between them. That's worse than ELO II
! So whilst this album isn't particularly pretentious, it's about as boring and repetitive as reading the entire works of Beetle Bailey.
Not only that, but Secret Messages
was the name of an Earth, Wind and Fire album from 1982, only a year before this scrap heap was released. That's another E-band with three words in the name - it seems Lynne's got so lazy he doesn't even have his albums stocked in a different rack from whoever he's ripping off!Rated:
by Reviewer: Capt Bonanza
(blogging at Capn Marvel's Bonanza [Defunct]