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Hayward & Lodge - Blue Jays CD (album) cover


Hayward & Lodge


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 87 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Just got this from yesterday. My, my, this takes me back! I bought it back in '75, when it first came out, and I was stunned at the time over the sheer musicianship, the songwriting, the orchestration, the production and Justin's guitar. The tracks run into each other which tends to add to the album's completeness, in my view. My cd is the remastered version, and it sounds really crisp coming out of the speakers. Every track is wonderful, and the album is easily comparable with the best work the Moodies ever did. As commented on already, this does in fact sound uncannily close to a Moodies album. 'This Morning' is a highlight, the guitar work especially standing out and a very emotional melody in both verse and chorus. 'Remember Me (My Friend)' is softer, with nice acoustic guitar at the beginning, though the harmonies here are a little fragile in places. 'My Brother' is a mid-paced track that has another wonderful melody, whilst 'You' is ridiculously catchy, with the piano work in particular worth mentioning. 'Nights Winters Years' is the big ballad on the album, Justin singing it with full orchestral backing. This is classic Haywood material and goes down a treat, especially on dark winter nights, in front of an open fire. (Ours is gas, unfortunately!) In fact, the whole album has a wintry feel to it, or late autumn at least. 'Saved By The Music' is probably my least fave track, simply because the verse is almost child-like in its quality, especially in the vocals, maybe too simple for me, but the chorus is memorable, and, as the song fades, you hear that wonderful Haywood guitar soloing out nicely. 'I Dreamed Last Night' is another highlight. More acoustic guitar here, with a strong melody, and gorgeous harmonies in the chorus. Percussion work, here and throughout, is top notch. 'Who Are You Now' is quieter, with gentle acoustic guitar the predominant instrument. Another introspective Haywood song, with effective harmonies again. 'Maybe' is another orchestral-backed ballad, this time sung by John. He doesn't quite have the strength in his voice that Justin has, but he sings it well enough, and the song fades out nicely with some good instrumentation. Then fades in the third highlight, 'When You Wake Up', which was the B side of the single 'Blue Guitar'. This track is full of Haywood's guitar work, beautifully played, winding its way sinously through the track. The melody is strong, and the chorus is climatic in character. Finally comes the bonus track, the aforementioned single 'Blue Guitar', which starts with some absolutely superb spacey guitar from Haywood, before leading into yet another strong melody, and ending with more excellent guitar. This is a shorter track, and strangely doesn't feature John Lodge at all. But it fits nicely on the album. It has been wonderful revisiting this album, and it is recommended for anyone who wants to listen to strong melodies without any pyrotechnics or metal riffs. In fact, it is recommended for anyone who has the Moodies albums and would like to hear another one! Four stars.
chessman | 4/5 |


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