Eloy

Floating

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With Floating, Eloy hit their first artistic peak. The German group's brand of hard rock meets prog rock gelled beautifully for this set of five songs. The structural shortcomings of the longest track from the previous album are now things of the past: "The Light From Deep Darkness" is a 15-minute roller coaster. The opening title track gets very close to early Santana, thanks to a spirited drum track and Manfred Wieczorke's organ work, closer this time to Gregg Rollie than Jon Lord (Deep Purple). But the album's highlight resides in the infectiously heavy riff of "Castle in the Air," maybe the most recognizable sound bit in Eloy's first three albums. New bassist Luitjen Janssen gives the song a tremendous momentum. The lyrics to "Plastic Girl" are more down to earth (and relate to Frank Zappa's "Plastic People") than the group's growing interest in metaphysics and space-age references. The album is capped by "Madhouse," a frantic rocker that shows how Bornemann has integrated the influence of Jethro Tull in his music. Fans of Eloy's concept albums (Dawn, Ocean, Planets) have a tendency to look snobbishly at the first three LPs, but Floating stands as a great rock achievement, no matter what the group will record next. The music did not have to adapt to a plot and is not drenched in synthesizers. As a result, it feels more honest and direct. The 2001 EMI remastered edition adds three live bonus tracks.

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