Album of the Day: Electric Light Orchestra

    Electric Light Orchestra – A New World Record
    If you like this record, you are a nerd. There’s not much way around it, sorry. But here’s the good news, you may be losing the chance to appear in an amp’d mobile ad, but you’re gaining the love only a progressive pop band can provide. Like the Beatles, but overblown and without the pesky black-music influences, ELO was geeky even back in 1976, but the passage of time has allowed the politics of music to fall away, and when you really examine A New World Record today, what’s left is artfully constructed pop music. What probably makes it the group’s easiest record to pick up for the average listener is the lack of proggy thematics that El Dorado cannot overcome (Yes, anyone?). New World Record is simply a shiny, happy chocolate sundae, artfully arranged and topped with butterscotch. Or something. The best known song here is probably “Livin’ Things” (although you’ll recognize most of them), but here’s the first song, “Tightrope.” Listen to it and try not to want to hear the rest of the record and geek out just for a little while.