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The Moody Blues - Strange Times  CD (album) cover

STRANGE TIMES

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

2.57 | 56 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Days of inspiration passed

Not really strange times as far as the music on this album is concerned, but certainly disappointing times. With the lengthy (8 year) break from "Keys of the Kingdom", hopes were high that the Moody Blues would return with an album to match the quality of their output during the 1970's. Unfortunately, it appears that whatever they were doing during the intervening period, it was not creating their next masterpiece. The songs included here are generally weak, being pale imitations of the classics which went before.

"English sunset" is OK as an opener, very much in the vein of the first tracks on many of their albums, such as "The voice", "I know you're out there somewhere" etc. From there though it's a mixture of uninspired ballads, and light pop songs.

The title track has slightly more originality to it, but such moments are all too rare. Ray Thomas' contribution is particularly disappointing, as he can usually be relied upon to provide a worthwhile diversion, both in terms of his voice and his melodic compositions. Sadly, all he offers here is a brief children's lullaby.

John Lodge is also well below par, his "Words you say" in particular sounding rather like a pathetically inadequate imitation of "Isn't life strange". Graeme Edge on the other hand contributes one of his emotive spoken passages on his composition "Nothing changes", which sees Hayward finally get his guitar going for a brief solo to end the album.

The two bonus tracks mentioned did not appear on the UK release of the album. They had however already appeared some years earlier on the excellent "Time traveller" collection, and are noticeably superior to the rest of the tracks on this album.

The Moody Blues have made many fine albums, and continue to tour as a trio (plus supporting musicians) today. It appears however that in terms of new recordings, their days of creativity and inspiration are behind them. It is interesting to note that this album has been repackaged a couple of times with other MB compilations, in an effort to boost sales.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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