Picks and Pans Review: Balance of Power

updated 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/21/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Electric Light Orchestra

One of the few things the members of ELO have changed since emerging from the ashes of the British band The Move in 1971 is trading in the band's violins and cellos for synthesizers. Taking out the strings has improved their music, removing that swollen, saccharine sound. It has also allowed them to streamline the group to the current trio of singer-writer-producer Jeff Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan and keyboardist Richard Tandy. Otherwise their songs remain the same. Lynne is a tinkerer, enriching each cut with aural additives. The best part of his clever pop arrangements is the way he transfigures his lone voice into a chorus through saturated overdubbing. He is also a talented, if not terribly profound, songwriter, as he proves on the smooth Heaven Only Knows and Getting to the Point. (CBS)

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