Jeff Lynne - Armchair TheatreIt’s a crime that this album, Lynne’s first solo effort after his ELO years and the Traveling Wilburys, wasn’t promoted better, because this album is much better than even most of the favorable reviews gave it credit for. With a comfortable distance between his current sound and the days of ELO, Lynne weaves an easily listenable combination of his thick trademark harmonies, the occasional string section, his more laid-back Wilburyish tendencies, and even a few surprises like the Indian percussion on “Now You’re Gone”. His ability to come up with a catchy and unpredictable combination of melody and harmony is as strong as ever, and the much more acoustic feel of this album (in comparison to ELO or even George Harrison’s Cloud Nine album) benefits from Lynne’s sharp production. “Lift Me Up” and “Every Little Thing”, the two 4 out of 4singles which were lifted from the album and not given nearly enough airplay, are probably the strongest tunes here, but there are so many to choose from; if any one number falls short, it is the very short “Save Me Now”, an attempt at a simple, acoustic environmental-awareness anthem with some of the most laughably simplistic lyrics Lynne has penned to date. Otherwise, this is a shoe-in for my Damn Near Perfect Album List.

Order this CD

  1. Every Little Thing (3:41)
  2. Don’t Let Go (3:00)
  3. Lift Me Up (3:36)
  4. Nobody Home (3:51)
  5. September Song (2:57)
  6. Now You’re Gone (3:57)
  7. Don’t Say Goodbye (3:09)
  8. What Would It Take (2:40)
  9. Stormy Weather (3:42)
  10. Blown Away (3:29)
  11. Save Me Now (2:39)

Released by: Reprise
Release date: 1990
Total running time: 36:41