Hopefully my copy of the New album is on it’s way from Japan but in the mean
time I have been on the Ballad Collection for the last week or two. It’s very
good. When I first played it to a friend in the car going to a gig I feared
it might be too slow but I don’t know how I got that impression. I did notice
I now know more of the tracks though.

Where does Avalon come from? This is excellent. I guessed it would be on Love
Is An Illusion from the date but I see it isn’t. Is it a Rocket Scientist track?
I really like the use of Viola on it. I have to say I can’t really see the point
of Avalon Reprise though. There is no Lana or Viola so why bother? To be far
I do like the Reprise it is just if you have the album on repeat it is annoying
hearing it and then the first version again.

Athena’s Shadow is very nice.

Again where does Stardust come from I can’t spot it on an album but it is written
by one of the circle. Again this is OK I am not terribly struck on it.

Through The Fire is Good to hear in the new format. Even though I drink only
once in a Blue moon I must be an alcoholic. Instead of singing to myself “Take
the ashes and turn them to Diamonds” by brain always wants to sing “Take
the ashes and turn them to Cider” I can’t explain how my brain got into
this habit and it really bugs me. Oh it is very interesting to play the 1998
“original” version again. I don’t really get on with that album but
this song is OK.

I think When time Stood Still is far Better than the ELO original. It is one
of my favourite on the album. Especially Erik’s keyboard touches.

Clouds was one of my favourites on Curious Goods. I have to say playing the
original I can’t understand why. This Ballad version is so much better. In fact
it makes me think of Karen Carpenter (ie The Carpenters) but thankfully not
as Cheesy. So who did the original of this?

Heart of Dawn I didn’t realise was a track on it’s own. Both this and Take
a breath I like a lot but I prefer the original mix to the Ballad one. It is
a bit bassier and Lana is more up front.

I have never heard Across the Universe before so was surprised to see it is
presumably a Beatles song. It stuck me more as being a cover of an Abba song
or something. A friend nastily contaminated my collection with some Beatles
albums but it doesn’t seem to be on any so I am curious to hear the original.
That’s the funny thing with the Beatles they have influenced so many of the
bands I like but I tend not to like them themselves. I accepted their albums
since my friend had them in his 2nd Hand shop and he knows I like ELO and Roy
Wood etc and have an Album by Rick Wakeman of Beatles tunes. Across the universe
is good anyway. I think I am not 100% certain. It does seem a little Sickly.

Overall I really like the album.

How sad. Only Live In Japan to go and I am up to date