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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 25 April 2006
You can't help the niggling feeling that this is an ELO album for marketing purposes only (it's easier to market ELO than Jeff Lynne!). In essence it's a Jeff Lynne solo work albeit with Richard Tandy on it too, plus some of his old friends popping in for some quick cameos. But this album moreover signals Lynne's readiness to come back to ELO and to play the music he stopped playing 15 years previously. The tracks on "Zoom" are solid and make better listening than "Balance of Power" the previous ELO album, although I feel Jeff is still slightly stuck in the 80's! Fav tracks include "Moment in Paradise" which sounded better live on the VH1 Storytellers programme, & "Ordinary Dream" which is the most ELO sounding track on the Album. All in all I could speculate on whether this album should be classed as an ELO album , but who cares I'm glad it was made and I'm proud to have it bookending my ELO albums. Pity about the lack of a proper Zoom tour but check out the Zoom DVD and stick it on 5.1 surround! Sweet!!
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on 9 February 2005
This is an album which builds.
It opens with one of the more enigmatic lines in rock and follows up with a useful reminder that no-one writes middle-eights quite like Jeff Lynne. Then onto a more modern number with haunting lyrics and back to cracking sing-along-a-rock for the third track. But where is the meat of the album?
Track 4 changes the mood, and all of a sudden the listener is hooked. Can I hear 'Nowhere Man' somewhere in here? By track 5 you're deep in the Zone, and by Side 2 (yes, this CD really does feel like it has two sides) you want to see it through to the end... but I won't spoil the story. Put it on in your car, and make sure the journey is long enough to fit in the whole thing.
This is a virtuoso album, almost a homage to the entire history of rock.
And it gets inside your head. I think I know what Jeff is singing about... and I think you might too.
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on 23 March 2013
I really had a gut feeling about this one, my experience of ELO before this was 1986's fluid 'balance of power' and the song 'Last train to London. What really carries 'ZOOM', and what really makes it signature ELO is in the broad, based confident sound a solid production. Richard Tandy's on the spot pounding electric piano adds something echoes somewhat of a refined and refreshed, sound of TOTO, on the uplifting life enthusiastic 'Alright' and it works great. One of my favourite tracks 'It Really Doesn't Matter At All' combines the seamles swirly ELO production with a touch of BYRDS but like new and improved. I like it how all tracks play on without problem and how refreshing and timeless this album sounds. There are also delicate touches of Rockabilly on 'Zoom', but as with 'Hold on Tight' on 'Time' and 'Send it' on 'Balance of Power' it is clean cut and professional and does not steer away from the overall flow of the album, adding some occasional seasoning is more like it. 'Zoom' too me a flawless album that has everything in the right place

It is unnecessary to compare it to Lynne's 1990 SOLO ALBUM `Armchair Theater' which in itself but has a different setting, vision and more of a laidback `get up and go' mindset and production style.

'Zoom' does not have to be compared to anything; the solid fluid emphatic productions speaks for itself, after one spin in my cd player it became an instant favourite, This album finds Electric Light Orchestra leader Jeff Lynne in a confident mood very much and sincerely in the groove in multitasking with several instruments, other 'Guest Stars' or newcomers to ELO become part of the Orchestra on several tracks and there has been several attempts at smooth digital editing in places, it's refined pop at it's finest and it all comes out great, it's all in the groove[despite the fact that I'm not that much of a Ringo fan]

Highlights are indeed all tracks but a few favourites are: 'It Really Doesn't Matter,' Lonesome Lullaby, 'Alright ''Moment in Paradise', and 'Stranger on a Quiet Street' and the sweeping and somberly swaying delicate 'Just For Love'
also worth extra attention is the truly outstanding ' Ordinary Dream' magnficently atmospheric, delicately poetic thought provoking lyrics {'the jigsawpuzzle of a twisted tale']' and with a clarity defining sombre aura, captivating and indeed refreshing

Recommended for anyone, this is brilliant stuff and it plays like a breeze, a most stellar effort, rapidly developing into an all time favourite album. Essential
"Hold on to something you believe in Hold on to something that makes you feel alright" Uplifting!
(I picked as one of the prime albums to feature while I go with my family the north of Sweden by car, I just had a feeling that his fine flowing album would work perfect for car traveling, it is that listener friendly kind of album, both cotemporary, classic and timeless in sound.)
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2009
Zoom carries on pretty much where Jeff Lynne left off with his solo album "Armchair Theatre" - but with a much lusher sense of production that gives it more of an ELO-feel. However, a quick peek at the production notes tells you this is pretty much a solo effort, despite the list of people thanked in the sleeve notes. As ever, Lynne can churn out a catchy song, and perhaps it's a sign of the talent of the man that you think "surely this has been composed before", before it's so hummable and instantly memorable.

It's easy to be snooty about such music, but crafting catchy pop songs that grab and keep your attention is no easy matter, although Jeff Lynne has been making it look easy for a long time now. Sadly, this album from 2001 is not only quite hard to track down - but is also (as far as I know) the most recently composed Lynne material. The Zoom tour never happened, and since this CD came out it's been only re-issues of old classics. Time for more!
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on 24 April 2013
This is, essentially and accurately the Electric Light Orchestra for the modern day, the songs are reflective of their old style yet with a modern twist, and there are some true gems on this album, songs like Easy Money, State of Mind and Lonesome Lullaby wouldn't look out of place in a ELO album in the 1970's and the reboot includes two extra little special songs for the discerning ELO Fan. One Day, which is a song that i can't really relate to many other ELO songs, yet is very sweet. And a live rendition of Turn to Stone from the Zoom tour, and is a fantastic rendition.
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on 9 November 2003
When I first heard Tracks 1 and 2 I thought maybe this was going to be a pale updating of the ELO magic. "Alright" felt just that, just alright - radio-ready but sort of a bland start. "Moment In Paradise" seemed a bit too twee. (Both songs would grow on me with repeated listens) But then, starting at Track 3, "State Of Mind", it was fasten your seatbelt pure WOW, pure bliss. I'm one of those impatient people who start skipping through the songs as soon as I get the feel. I couldn't do it with this one, I was under its hypnotic control. This is better than Lynne's work with the Wilburys, Petty, Harrison, all of it. Every song has its own rich, lush, layered, often complex but always melodic and unique sound. This is an old pro at the top of his game. I just don't understand what all these people are going on about, saying it's not ELO. I'm not sure what exactly Lynne could do to possibly satisfy them. Why not enjoy this latest work from a master songmaker? Buy it, believe me you'll love it. And get the amazing concert DVD too, it's quite simply one of the best live shows ever put on disc.
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on 15 November 2015
This is a great album from Jeff Lynne produced at a time when he was regarded as somewhat unfashionable, and dismissed as some sort of second-rate Beatles copyist (never was - he was developing similar ideas contemporaneously to the Beatles Sgt Pepper - albeit nowhere near as successfully - in the 'Idle Race'). So much so, that he had to cancel large parts of an accompanying tour. The release of his well-received latest album, "Alone in the Universe" (as 'Jeff Lynne's ELO') will hopefully encourage many to go back and discover this neglected gem. There are few tracks here that will not have you singing along in fairly short order. Jeff Lynne has an unerring feel for the infectious hook, and it is irresistible when combined with the trademark instrumentation and production. Many of the tunes would not have been out of place on his past masterpieces such as "Out of the Blue". Best tracks? Probably, "Moment in Paradise", "Ordinary Dream", and "Lonesome Lullaby".
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on 23 October 2011
This is not an album for those expecting that old ELO sound from the 70s and 80s but what you do get is mr lynn doing what he does best, making good music!
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on 13 November 2016
This is virtually a Jeff Lynne album. On most songs he plays all the instruments. Rosie Vela and Ringo Starr make brief appearances so does Richard Tandy, an ex ELO band member. It is a brilliant album. It came out in 2013.
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on 11 March 2005
It has been a long time coming, but is well worth the wait. I hesitated in buying the album, but now I have it I can't stop playing it. It is really a Jeff Lynne solo album, but the sound spans the ELO years and sees Jeff in reflective mood. Wonderful stuff.
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