|BGO's fourth studio album transcends time ... literally!|
"Beyond Time" is beyond expectation. Without a doubt, ELO's second concept masterpiece "Time" - with its earthbound theme of time travel and a yearning for a return to a much simpler 1981 from a plastic and emotionless 2095 - is a major influence for BGO IV ... in a musical, lyrical and artistic sense. In many respects, this album is a transition.
The sound is different, the themes are familiar yet the artwork depicts immense change. There's also a new BGO logo on show too! "Beyond Time" could easily be termed "Time Part II" but with a location "Beyond Time", this stellar release - in many ways - is relatively unconstrained.
|The new BGO logo emerges from "Beyond Time" ...|
"ELO Forever", the catchy lead single, sits in the middle of "Beyond Time" as the album event horizon with "Anthem Of Hope" acting as the album "Prologue" and "Beyond Time [Underture]" the "Epilogue". The parallels between ELO and BGO are apparent throughout without the latter plagiarising the former. Indeed, both "Time" and the heavier "Beyond Time" are perfect sonic partners. The dreamy "21st Century Man" of ELO contrasts with the bittersweet "23rd Century Woman" of BGO yet the themes of "Yours Truly 2095" and "I'm In Love With A Robot" completely interlock.
"Return 2 4 Ever" and my personal favourite "Earth Below Me" [with a truly amazing guest guitar contribution by Pete Hackett from: Cult of Wedge] are simply awesome songs. Strong in melody and full of BGO magic with superb lyrics, sweet harmonies and the odd unforgettable chorus!
"I'm Coming Back Home" [a song dedicated to the late Brad Delp from ELO's American contemporaries Boston], "We've Lost Our Connection", "The World's About To End [Let's Live For Today]" and "Destination Home" [featuring the trumpet talents of Steve Howard and an intro that is a marvellous nod to Pink Floyd's 1994 classic "Coming Back To Life"] continue this impressive roster of tracks replete with the longing and loneliness of deep space balanced by the high ideals of love and hope.
The album closer and title track "Beyond Time" is a return to familiar BGO musical territory but this time with a pensive and soul searching message for redemption from the place known as forever. This album has been played multiple times by ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] in the last couple of months and still it is fresh and invigorating. That, my friends, is the mark of a great album.
So what does happen when you fuse Les Paul with BGO? The answer is "Beyond Time"! Fans of ELO & Jeff Lynne and lovers of "Time" should, at the very least, have a listen to some track samplers and seriously consider investing in some "Beyond Time" for their collections. Here's to a fifth BGO album in yet future days! [11/10]
|Bubble Gum Orchestra maestro Michael Laine Hildebrandt|
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends and endorses "Beyond Time" by Bubble Gum Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff Lynne, The Move, Roy Wood, The Idle Race, The Beatles, 'Brum Beat' and all related artistes.