Electric Light Orchestra: Zoom (2001)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 10/12/14

After ELO Part 2 put out a couple of albums without Jeff Lynne, Lynne put together his own band under the ELO banner and released an album called "Zoom." For all intents and purposes it was a Jeff Lynne solo album, but the Zoom tour included original keyboardist Richard Tandy, which is nice to see. The set list is primarily classic hits from 1972-1979, with a handful of new songs thrown in. The most glaring omissions are "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and "Rockaria!", and to a lesser extent, the highly popular "Hold On Tight." The biggest surprise happens to be the inclusion of the ethereal ballad "One Summer Dream." The show ends on an energetic note with an extended and embellished "Don't Bring Me Down", and a rollicking rendition of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven."

The production values are good, but some of the cuts are too quick and a lot of the chit-chat and idle time between songs is cut out. It's clearly Lynne's show and he's in the spotlight the entire time. He sounds great and is an excellent musician, but he's not much of a showman. In fact, the rest of the band is far more interesting to watch than he is, and vocalist Rosie Vela is simply mesmerizing. The two female cellists also add some spice and class to the line up. The audio is superb and all of the musicians are seasoned professionals, which makes the entire show a musical treat. Overall, if you're a fan of ELO and/or Jeff Lynne, it's definitely worth checking out, but newcomers may find it a bit bland.