So, when it was announced in April 2016 that a sequel was to be released in late May, almost 34 years after the original, the attention of Yours Truly KJS was most certainly grabbed. The cynic in me thought that we might expect a pale imitation of ABC's finest eighties hour and the fan in me hoped for a return to the polished pop poetry that "All Of My Heart", "Poison Arrow" and "The Look Of Love" delivered first time around.
"The Lexicon Of Love II" [Virgin/EMI #CDV3150] is most definitely more of the latter than the former with ten songs signalling a long overdue return to form either side of a trademark orchestral opening and reprise. There is a maturity born of experience throughout the lyrics of this album in tackling the tricky themes of love, loss and passion. Lead single "Viva Love" is a tempting appetiser for great ABC songs with upbeat dance tune "The Flames Of Desire", the anthemic duo "Singer Not The Song" and "The Ship Of The Seasick Sailor" nicely balanced by ballads "Ten Below Zero" and "Kiss Me Goodbye". The familiar vocal feel of "The Love Inside The Love" is certainly reminiscent of "By Default By Design" and "United Kingdom" [from 1983's "Beauty Stab"] too. My fave track, however, the sublime, perfect pop of pensive "Confessions Of A Fool" - a track that keeps prompting me to ramp up the volume in my car and wind down the windows!
"The Lexicon Of Love II" has a sweet Summer vibe to it and, if it was a gamble by Martin Fry, then it has almost certainly paid off. My positive opinion of this welcome new ABC record is supported by the fact that it entered the Official UK Album Chart at a very respectable #5 last week. I look forward to seeing the band live at Birmingham Symphony Hall in October and hopefully a delicious vinyl edition in the near future. [9/10]
Trax: "The Flames Of Desire" ~ "Viva Love" ~ "Ten Below Zero" ~ "Confessions Of A Fool" ~ "Singer Not The Song" ~ "The Ship Of The Seasick Sailor" ~ "Kiss Me Goodbye" ~ "I Believe In Love" ~ "The Love Inside The Love" ~ "Brighter Than The Sun" ~ "Viva Love Reprise"
Find out more about ABC, Martin Fry and "The Lexicon Of Love II" via this link thus:
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "The Lexicon Of Love II" by ABC to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 08-June-2016