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The Moody Blues - Seventh Sojourn CD (album) cover

SEVENTH SOJOURN

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

3.65 | 196 ratings

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Theo Verstrael
4 stars Way back in the seventies The Moody Blues was just a good band for me, with two great tracks from the superb 'Days of future passed' album (of course Tuesday afternoon and Nights in white satin). For the rest I was not interested. Until a class mate of mine pointed out that the Moodies' new album would be my piece of cake since I liked 'I'm just a singer in a rock 'n roll band'. I have never understood how he figured out that I might like the album since that hit single is so heavily in contrast with the rest. But right he was: for me 'Seventh sojourn' is the best album they made.

The album starts off with the gentle, subtle and very atmospheric 'Lost in a lost world'. The melody, Pinders singing and the overall orchestral arrangement just work brilliantly. The drums and bass lay a very firm basis without being dominant. It sets the mood for the rest of the album (except the last track in which the listener is totally blown off track). It is followed by what I reckon as the best track the Moodies ever recorded: 'New horizons'. It is the summum of romanticism in my ears, beautifully sung by Hayward with good lyrics, splendid yet modest guitar work and immaculate use of the mellotron. Absolutely brilliant. 'For my lady' is a song I had to get used to. At first I disliked it, couldn't discern the beauty of the folkish melody. Maybe the song suffered from the fact that it followed 'New horizons' of that I first heard it as the B-side of 'I'm just a singer'. But after all these years I like it more and more. It is so simple yet effective, with the use of accordeon Superb, albeit that the lyrics are below parr. The first Lodge song is the worst on the album since his singing is just too much, too forced. It looks as if he tries so hard to sing as beautiful as he can, yet with a melody that is simply a bit too difficult or out of tune for him. The arrangement of this very slow ballad is beautiful though. 'You and me' and 'The land of make believe' are two outstanding songs that fit into the album perfectly. They show the more rockier side of the Moodies, especially 'You and me', with good guitar soloing and, of course, beautiful melodies again and great percussion. They form quite a contrast with 'Isn't life strange' which brings about a good balance on the album. 'The land of make believe' has the atmosphere of a fairy tale and that works remarkably well, with the use of flute, great mellotron, electric guitar on the background and the driven bass that takes up the song and finishes it. The chorus is absolute fabulous and gives me the shivers. 'When you're a free man' is not my favourite but it is good, yet of lower attractiveness than the Hayward songs. It is also a bit too long, perhaps. The finishing track is not only wellknown since it was a big hit in many countries, it is also a worthy finisher. It illustrates that the Moodies can rock, that they can play with a cacophony of instruments, that they know how to use a bass guitar. Great song, great album, great band.

'Seventh sojourn' was the road to get to know the Moody Blues for me and may serve so for many more to come! I'd like to give it 4,5 star.

Theo Verstrael | 4/5 |

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