Q (Summer/01, p.120) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...TIME allegedly concerned time travel, but Jeff Lynne would never surrender his humanity: even the hero of 'Ticket To The Moon' weeps as he leaves Earth..."
Electric Light Orchestra: Jeff Lynne (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, synthesizer); Richard Tandy (guitar, piano, synthesizer); Kelly Groucett (bass, background vocals); Bev Bevans (drums, percussion).
Producer: Jeff Lynne.
Reissue producers: Jeff Lynne, Al Quaglieri.
Recorded at Musicland Studios, Munich, Germany. Includes liner notes by Jeff Lynne.
Digitally remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
The Electric Light Orchestra was in a precarious position by 1981. Not only was Jeff Lynne's brand of immaculately produced Beatlesque pop out of critical fashion in those new-wave days, there was a new brand of video-friendly bubblegum on the rise that made such classic radio hits as "Sweet Talkin' Woman" sound passT. The band's heavily hyped participation in the box-office flop XANADU, including the title duet with star Olivia Newton-John, hadn't helped.
Typically, though, 1981's TIME finds Lynne and company ignoring trends and simply doing what they do best: pristine, endlessly-multitracked, ultra-melodic pop. There's a theme of sorts running through the record, a meditation on sci-fi apocalypse that runs through songs like "Yours Truly, 2095" and "From the End of the World." The concept is easy enough to ignore, as the real focus, as always, is on Lynne's immense melodic and production skills. TIME is an underrated gem.