Post by queenofthehours on Jul 13, 2016 20:29:48 GMT
I have the Idle Race’s albums on a cd and when I got it I lessened incessantly to them. I had favourite tracks but as everything was all on one CD I didn't hear them as properly structured albums. I found them hugely enjoyable and this album seems more sophisticated. Jeff's style with the IR is very Roy Wood and the toytown style (especially on the IR's first album) really suits him. Jeff writes the style very well and could easily write something like this now, I know he's moved on but I'd still like to hear his modern take on IR-type tracks.
Come With Me – I love the opening. It's hard not to adore this. I love the way it just swings along. It actually reminds me of something like 'Turn To Stone' but without the big production. The "oooh ah" bits make me happy and the backing vocals are very ELO to come. Jeff's high notes and "la-di-das" are the highlight! The guitar at the end is typical Jeff - sweet and perfect.
Sea Of Dreams – It has never been one of my very favourites and if in a hurry I will often skip this but listening now I really do love it. I like the rhythm and the guitars. The acoustic is very Beatles and the electric very George. It's funny how the IR were around at the same time as the Beatles and Jeff is a well known Beatles-lover yet I can't hear anything in their music that’s like them much. The are much more like Roy and the Move than anything else. This is 60's folky in style to me, Donovan, Dylan style. I like how the tempo changes at the end and the guitar and the "oohhhs" that come with it. A bit Wilbury.
Going Home – Again one that I could skip if short of time but there's nothing wrong with it. I love the piano at the chorus and Jeff's singing at the chorus. I actually love the melody of this song, it sounds quite a lot more complicated than usual for IR. A complex piece like ELO, great strings, rather 'Wild West Hero-y'. Some great Jeff-style guitar hidden at the back every now the then. Again a great outro, Jeff seems to excel at this on IR I notice. He really knows how to end a track, high vocals too. My favourite outro on album perhaps with vocal dubbing looking forward to ELO
Reminds Me Of You – No Jeff vocals here, I like the variation but I usally skip this so it's new for me to hear this. I like it a lot but the album being Jeff-heavy I’d rather he sang ALL songs or that they were shared more evenly.
Mr. Crow and Sir Norman – I ADORE this, makes me happy and smile and laugh every time. One of Jeff’s most humourous and inventive tracks. Everything is great: Piano, tempo, banjo/uke (whatever it is), accordion, chorus, dubbing and high vocals. he song has a story which is rare in Jeff's world - the only other I can think of is 'Jungle' The structure, vocals and "ooohs" are very ELO. My favourite bits of the lyrics are the bit about the "gottle of geer" and "cried tears of joy all in his tea" - very Jeff lines, I wish he's write as inventive as this now. I love the sound fx too. What does Mr C and Sir N say at the end? The song has a very clever ending. This song reminds me of Procol Harum a little, they had humourous little track on their albums, so I like to imagine that as they had the same manager as the Move they might have heard some IR tracks.
Please No More Sad Songs – A change now to a more downbeat track, the equivalent perhaps to 'Strange Magic'. Very lovely and a good place for Jeff to try his lovely harmonies again. The most Beatle-y so far, the guitar part is just angelic. Jeff sings some lovely high notes which he will never get as high as again!
Girl At The Window – One of very favourites in the album. A lovely sweet opening that only Jeff can do. "John and Paul and Ringo and George" - Nelson is last, is that a sign? in the deviation from the normal "john, Paul, George and Ringo"? It's lovely to hear a tribute from Jeff to the band, especially as we can't hear 'Beatles forever' properly. A catchy chorus singalong that's memorable and easy. I like the tempo and dynamics.
Big Chief Wooly Bosher – 'WW Hero' here, obviously! The beginner's version. I like the indian-style drums and the "oohs" which make the track sound like the soundtrack to a cowboy movie.
Someone's Knocking – Perfectly good except not a Jeff singing track! It's not that it's bad it’s just that we’ve come to expect to hear Jeff.
A Better Life (The Weatherman Knows) – Another big favourite. Too lovely. Like the piano. Too short!
Hurry Up John – Not my favourite but rounds off the LP nicely. Very 60s with interesting guitars.
A hugely enjoyable album that proves Jeff has the best sense of humour and the best sense of melody. He doesn't write songs like this anymore which is a shame but he still writes lovely music which is good! I put the IR on when I need an uplift or to hear something different. Jeff excels at little guitar motifs and backing vocals and you can hear him setting out his intentions here for ELO. It's strange how Jeff went from pop to weirdness with early ELO and then went back to pop.