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The Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour CD (album) cover

EVERY GOOD BOY DESERVES FAVOUR

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

3.50 | 209 ratings

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James Lee
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This really should have been the band's masterpiece. From the lovely cover art (perhaps the best in the band's already exemplary collection) to the opening creation myth, accompanied by gorgeous instrumentation (including a nice little Brian May-type doubletracked lead fanfare), we are led to believe that the MOODY BLUES have finally produced the concept album they'd always seemed to be promising. It certainly keeps going well, seguing into the driving and memorable "Story in Your Eyes", but as the album continues, there's no doubt that this is simply another collection of good songs loosely bound together.

Not that that's a bad thing; this is just as much as a concept album as, say, "Sgt. Pepper". "Our Guessing Game" is requisite Ray Thomas simple sweetness, saturated with melody and harmony, and "Emily's Song" continues the lush loveliness with remarkable orchestration- I guess the layering of instruments they'd tried to escape from on the previous album was impossible to resist. "After You Came" hits fairly hard, in a WHO-inspired vein, and features some nice guitar work. "One More Time to Live" is tender and lush and pretentious as a MOODY BLUES song should be, hearkening back to the questing drama of "Procession" to keep the concept going. "Nice to be Here" (is there any doubt this is a Ray Thomas song?) is a cross between "Wind in the Willows" nursery rhyme psychedelia and Fogerty's "Looking Out My Back Door"- perhaps a little too childish for some, but fun nevertheless. "You Can Never Go Home", however, is a surging guitar-led anthem in the Justin Hayward style, mixing melancholy reflection with yearning romanticism. The final track, "My Song", is the toughest song on the album to digest; the lyrics of the first and last verse may make you cringe, but the vocals work well; the music jumps around from passage to passage, teasing you with sonic textures, but gradually builds to a wrenching climax.

Is it anything they haven't shown us before? Not really- the latter five of the "classic seven" MOODY BLUES albums are more or less interchangeable, but this one has the most lushly layered sonic signature- even compared to the orchestra on "Days of Future Passed". Is it overblown and pretentious? Sure, but there's still that endearing naivete and optimism to balance the grandeur. Is it "easy listening"? Well, it definitely belongs to the softer side of progressive rock, making even the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT seem edgy by comparison- but if you're in the mood to let your defenses down a bit and let the music wash over you, there's few albums that will be as comfortable and yet as evocative as "Every Good Boy Deserves Favor."

James Lee | 3/5 |

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