October 05, 1981 12:00 PM

Electric Light Orchestra

This is akin to going on one of those amusement park superrides that offer a few minutes of dizzying thrills carefully orchestrated by unseen computers. At the end, a rider may not be emotionally touched but can marvel at the ingenuity that went into such frivolity. The 11-song LP, ELO’s 12th, projects listeners into an aural time warp where the lyrics have people of the 21st century saying, “Remember the good old 1980s/ When things were so uncomplicated?” and “Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow/ You still wander the fields of your sorrow.” It is not a joyous world that Jeff Lynne, ELO’s main musical man, foresees. One of the hazards, according to Yours Truly, 2095, is the modern girl: “She is the latest in technology/Almost mythology, but she has a heart of stone/ She has an IQ of 1,001/She has a jump suit on, and she’s also a telephone.” The band’s electrical sounds of whirs, purrs and zoinks whirl around Lynne’s metallic tenor. The overall effect is captivating balderdash, hard to jump away from once you start a spin.

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