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Eloy - Colours CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.70 | 409 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars It is the 1980s and Eloy must adapt to them like every other prog band, or die. Gone are the epics and the lush orchestrations. Gone are the core of the previous band, with Bornemann recruiting three new guys on guitars, drums, and keyboards. If early Eloy referenced Jethro Tull and late 1970s Eloy worshiped Pink Floyd, the "Colours" version seems to want to go Alan Parsons. Even the opening cut is rather reminiscent of, say, "I Robot". It doesn't add up to something worthy of Eloy on paper.

Yet ultimately it's all about execution and conviction, two qualities with which "Colours" fairly brims. Illuminations is a cracking hard rocker with dramatic keyboards, lyrics that conjure up adventure, and a masterful ending. Interestingly, certain versions of the 1982 "Time to Turn" album would include this track again, and it worked even in that context. "Giant" is another fine piece with an introspective rhythm section. People say that the spacey element is gone from the Eloy sound here, but it is really in almost every note, residing just below the surface. Even the icy guitars of "Impressions", and its dancing flute, carry a cosmic edge. I credit two hired Hannes' for this, Arkona on guitars and Folberth on keyboards. They brought a minimalist attitude to the group, or at least a less is more approach which kept Eloy viable.

The centerpiece both geographically and in musical value is "Child Migration", which borrows opening lyrics from Khalil Gibran. The title itself is intriguing, but the song is ultimately about migration to adulthood that cannot be stopped. While the song is only 7 minutes long, it is the lengthiest on "Colours" and actually fully merits epic appellation, as it flows through many phases, including an infectious hard rock riff and an acoustic guitar/flute section. Even the harder parts are intensely and subtly melodic. One of Eloy's best songs ever.

The only weak track is "Gallery", being a bit too frenetic, but it's all over rather quickly. "Silhouette" has a quiet opening section featuring cascading piano and voice before it develops into a full fledged Alan Parsons type rocker that has as much hit potential as anything by Eloy could. Think "I wouldn't want to be like" you meets "Games People Play". The closer is the instrumental "Sunset", which features acoustic guitar yet again but is otherwise like something one might hear by Japanese electronic wiz Kitaro. Pleasant but not developed enough.

This is an album that shows Frank Bornemann's ability to tap into the talents of his band members. While there is never any doubt who is in charge on "Colours", it is the synergy of the group members that generates the rich palette.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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