Key To Music Grades

A - You will never be whole without it
B - Highly recommended
C - Flawed, but still pretty good
D - It's your money, not mine
F - Why couldn't this have been burned in Fahrenheit 451?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Move - Message From The Country (1971)

OK, time for a rarity. For those comfortably sequestered in camp ELO, allow me to invite an old friend back into the group, someone who spent a good part of the old days in the music backwoods with Father Lynne: The Move, heretofore known as candidate for the unfortunate title of Best-Band-That-Never-Made-It-Big (except perhaps in the UK). Initially led by mastermind Roy Wood, and later inflected with the imaginary Beatle Lynne's orchestral sensibilities, The Move were a solid British band that produced four solid albums, the last of which, Message From The Country, is their finest. Unlike ELO, they had no definitive "megahit," but also unlike ELO, they never had a weak album and weren't an irresponsible singles band.

Beginning with "Message From The Country," the eclectic musical leanings are made readily apparent with the main harmony layered with Lynne's ELO-esque vocal phrasings and Roy Wood's beefy undercurrent. "Until Your Mama's Gone" opens with a beautiful acoustic line and then moves to a bass-thumping, piano-rollicking number that keeps on exploding right until the end. I love that one. "Don't Mess Me Up" is a kind of rockabilly romper and "My Marge" is a campy little joke of a song, but you've got to dig it -- or else. "The Words Of Aaron" is possibly my favorite Move song; I hate to keep drawing comparisons, but it's like a minimalist ELO song musically, but that still manages to retain much of its power. "Ella James" and "The Minister" are good ones, too. Also, as a quick afterthought, if you've heard the song "Do Ya" by ELO, it was originally a Move single released in conjunction with this album. All in all, you can't go wrong with these guys. It's sad they never "made" it in America. B+

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