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The Moody Blues - A Question of Balance CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.53 | 322 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Albums from In Search of a Lost Chord (1968) to To Our Children's Children's Children (1969) had been very ambitious technically, witnessing The Moody Blues work in the studio like a miniature orchestra, with endless overdubs. At this point the Moodies simplified their sound a lot, to make it easier to sound similar in a live setting. I can't blame them for that, in the end it was a natural way to move forward. This album still sounds fresh. It gives all attention to the songs themselves, and more clearly than ever before its attraction, whatever highs and lows it has to an indivifual listener, lies in the songwriting.

But that's not radically new after all, because each MB album of the Classic Seven is more or less uneven in songwriting - in my opinion - , a fact that all studio ambitions in the world can't hide. Perhaps the dull songs here are just duller in their rather monotonous nature, but they are a small minority. OK, I start with them: 'Tortoise and Hare', what a bore. The well-known Aesop fable has just inspired John Lodge (who wrote it if I remember right) to give the song a hectic feel of a running competition, and the virtue of keeping the goal clear in mind, but nothing else. The other bore is 'Minstrel's Song', which proceeds in equal monotony, though happy chorus makes it better. Anyway it is too long for the musical contents.

'Question', Hayward's mighty opener, is fantastic! One of the most dynamic and majestic songs he ever wrote.Pinder's 'How Is It (We Are Here)' is not among his best songs but has a deep atmosphere. 'And the Tide Rushes In' shows Ray Thomas in a sentimental crooner mood, succesfully. 'Don't You Feel Small' may be a little phoney with its whispered double vocals, and very simple in structure, but I like it as well. A couple of Hayward songs on his high standards, one rocking and one emotionally loaded. Pinder's 'Melancholy Man' is a beloved classic, and 'The Balance' ends the album in a very emotional way. Yes, this album is full of emotions, and works perfectly as an introduction to new MB listeners.

Matti | 4/5 |


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