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Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues) - Blue Jays CD (album) cover

BLUE JAYS

Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues)

 

Crossover Prog

4.15 | 61 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

gero
4 stars It used to be my favourite album of all times, but the long-neglected criticism starts percolating to my mind and sobering my wiew now. Yes, the album is a bit monotonous, paradoxically enough, as the promising pre-conceived notion was to render each track in a different key and tempo. Still, the arrangements reek of sameness, which makes it a bit hard to sit the whole album through.

Which is sad, because the compositions are brilliant, and the level of the performers' emotional attachment seems to be even higher than on the previous Moody Blues albums. The harmonies are impeccable (especially in the rocking "Saved by the Music"), and the lack of Thomas' and Pinder's voices is hardly felt. The moving "Who Are You Now?" even manages the mellotron in the background, and the other tracks are rejuvenated by the presence of a string quartet and sometimes even a french horn player (which is a welcome addition to the Moodies instrumentarium). The overall feel of the album is very bright, but this is not flat or market-induced optimism. There are two Hayward-Lodge collaborations (the first instance of such a credit ever), both of which are classic Moody Blues tracks. In fact, each of the songs (with the exception of Lodge's "Isn't Life Strange" rip-off called "Maybe", which is undercomposed and underperformed vocally but overarranged at the same time) could adorn any of the core-7 Moody Blues album. Replace "Maybe" with "Suitcase' off Hayward's second solo album, wipe the Hollywoodish "Nights Winters Years" finale and you might get the greatest prog-related spin-off album ever!

gero | 4/5 |

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