I’ve always valued a good melody too much to look down on Jeff Lynne. Idle Race, The Move, ELO, goddamned Traveling Wilburys. And even now. He might not have another “Do Ya” or “Nobody’s Child” in him, but Alone In The Universe does the job well.
He plays to his strengths. You smile unintentionally when you hear the opening “When I Was A Boy” as it sounds like a million Beatles-inspired songs. But there’s also great sincerity about it. Jeff Lynne has always been honest about his talent, and suddenly, in the year 2015, it has paid off. Not a classic by any means, but a great reminder that a good song is – primarily – a good song.