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The Moody Blues - The Present  CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.01 | 97 ratings

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3 stars What a variety in ratings! For me it's easy to rate Present in the middle: it's miles from THE Moody Blues in their glory days and also I find it maybe the most pleasing post-classic era Moodies album. Patrick Moraz was hired to play keyboards but he's not involved in the song writing. His bright and airy playing gives a nice fresh touch. It's completely different from Mike Pinder's warm keyboardism, but it fits into these songs very well. For example the opener 'Blue World' sounds good, even if as a composition it's basically not far from the later mediocre pop hit stuff by Hayward/Lodge. Another good thing is that flautist-singer Ray Thomas is not yet pushed in the background as completely as in the later works. His contributions end the album gorgeously.

But despite all good things, in the terms of songwriting Present hardly wasn't a giant leap forward from the Long Distance Voyager (1981). Two songs following 'Blue World' give an impression of the sameness. Side Two, starting with a short unusual instrumental 'Hole in the World', has a wider spectrum and leaves a good taste, even if 'It's Cold Outside of Your Heart' is a zaccharine love song you get overdose of in their later albums. Another tender Hayward ballad 'Running Water' is slightly better. But this time it's Ray Thomas that lifts up the final weight of Present. If you want just one album of the later Moodies, this would be a good choice.

Matti | 3/5 |


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