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The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children CD (album) cover

TO OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S CHILDREN

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

4.05 | 262 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

bluetailfly
5 stars The Moody Blues are coming to my town and in preparation I've been replaying their albums. I've heard their LPs, especially the first seven, many times and am always astonished at how good they are.

But this time around, one has struck me as being especially mindblowing-"To Our Children's Children's Children."

This album is exceptional for a number of reasons, but it's the albums theme of outer space and space exploration that is most significant. The Moody Blues were one of the first artists to poetically and musically render the space age experience for the popular imagination-the enormous magnitude of outer space, the isolation it suggested to us earthbound spectators, and emotionally complex responses it evoked-the exhilaration, the awe, the fear, the critical questioning of our destiny, and so on.

Appropriately, the LP opens with the thunderous awesome sonic spectacle of a Saturn V blasting off the launch pad, which fades out as the churning, scrubbed-sounding rhythm guitars fade in at the open of "Higher and Higher." Graham Edge's poetry sketches out the album's broad theme of humankind at the threshold of a new consciousness and its implications, and as the song develops, edgy high-end lead guitar fights its way through the ensuing sonic fray like lightning in a thundercloud.

As the hurried, frantic rhythm of the first track fades, the exquisite extra-slow tempo woodwinds introduce the metaphysical melancholy of "Eyes of a Child." And, for this listener, the transition is one of the most sublime moments in rock music.

To digress for a moment, the Moody Blues are masters of the slow tempo song, and by slow tempo, I mean, the sort of very slow tempo that subtly calls attention to itself and draws the listener in. In fact the MB are one of only a few bands I know of that use the extremely slow tempo to this effect.

The album then proceeds to continue to explore the implications for space age man and woman: Some songs are humorous and lighthearted, like "Floating," others cautionary, warning humankind of its promethean predicament. One concept is particularly intriguing: That of "Out and In" which suggests that the vastness of outer space is equally matched by the vastness of our minds' inner space, and that explorations of both are necessary for humanity's growth.

But in addition to these, it's the album's recurrent theme of the inhuman vastness of outer space that gets the best treatment. Perhaps the most profound effect our space age conquest has had on us is a dispiriting awareness of the enormous distances and enormous spans of time that confront us if we wish to explore the cosmos. And it's this sense of cosmic loneliness and melancholy that is perfectly captured in songs like "Gypsy," "I Never Thought I'd Live To Be a Hundred" (and its reprise) and the instrumental "Beyond." The latter piece that still surprises me today. Following the intro section, a eerie sonic passage worthy of Kubrick's "2001" emerges and develops before fading and being overtaken by the theme of the intro. An amazing psychedelic moment.

All in all, an astonishingly rich musical experience and an extraordinary meditation on a unique moment in humankind's history. What the TV reporters and newspaper commentators writing about these extraordinary events and even the astronauts themselves couldn't quite communicate to the people, the Moody Blues succeeded in doing. Five stars.

bluetailfly | 5/5 |

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