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Alternativa - 2005 A Night In Starlight

ARTIST: Alternativa
ALBUM: A Night In Starlight
LABEL: Alternative Light Records
YEAR: 2005

LINEUP: Willem Evers - vocals, piano, keyboards * Joost Evers - drums * Dick Kampen - bass * Sander - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture: Hello Earth * 02 Fly Away * 03 Shiny Blue Nights * 04 Love You True * 05 When You're Lost * 06 All It Would Have Taken * 07 Sunglass Hero * 08 Change The Music * 09 Give Us A Little Bit More * 10 Hi And Good Afternoon * 11 Carry On * 12 It's Alright * 13 Join Us For Christmas * 14 A Dream Of Magical Fantasies



According to the Alternativa web site, Dutch songwriter Willem Evers accidentally 'discovered' the music of Electric Light Orchestra in 2003 and set to work forming a band while churning out a remarkable 19 songs inspired by Jeff Lynne. I personally wish more musicians would have accidents of this magnitude because 'A Night In Starlight' is a beautifully executed work which not only pays homage to ELO, but in turn offers something fresh and highly listenable.

The Songs
While Alternativa have got the ELO sound down to a science, I hear more 'Discovery' and the 1981 classic 'Time', than 'Eldorado' or 'Face The Music' which is fine with me, and unlike the recent L.E.O. disc which was focused on Jeff Lynne's studio techniques, 'A Night In Starlight' has a definite band feel. If I am not mistaken, I also hear snippets of Alan Parsons Project and 10cc which is always a good thing, but this isn't an album you listen to just to pick out influences, obvious or not. In fact after half a dozen plays, I no longer think of the ELO-isms and just enjoy it for what it is- Alternativa. Evers is a talented writer influenced not only by Lynne, but composer John Williams and this is particularly evident in his dramatic keyboard work. Both the opening 'Overture: Hello Earth' and closing 'A Dream Of Magical Fantasies' are instrumentals highlighting his talents, but this is a tight band and all the pieces come together on the excellent 'Fly Away', the beautiful John Lennon - like ballad 'When You're Lost' and 'Sunglass Hero' which is dedicated to Jeff Lynne.

In Summary
'A Night In Starlight' of course receives my highest recommendation. You expected anything less?! The band has released a single 'Join Us For Christmas' paired with 'Voyage Of Time', the latter not available on the album and I suggest getting both and supporting Alternativa. They have a new CD coming out in a few months and deserve your attention. I can't wait!

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#1 | gdazegod on December 28 2006 00:41:39
What.. with this lot along with L.E.O, Jeff Lynne must find this highly bemusing! Now we wait for the movie! Smile
#2 | Nick C on January 24 2007 15:50:19
Well after reading the above I went and done got myself a copy...hyuk hyuk. It's pretty fantastic. Another band I would list sound wise (slightly) is New England, especially on Fly Away where the keyboards sound straight from Explorer Suite.
Really, really enjoyable release and one I'm know I'll get plenty of enjoyment from in years to come.
#3 | gdazegod on March 11 2018 01:08:36
I have recently discovered another ELO clone; from Texas - called Bubble Gum Orchestra, or BGO as they affectionately known. Thes guys also wrote a song called 'ELO Forever', just to confirm where their love affair lies. Their 2011 debut album 'Out Of This World' even borrows heavily from the artwork of ELO's 'Out Of The Blue'.

Check out their Discogs page.

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