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Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues) - Blue Jays CD (album) cover

BLUE JAYS

Hayward & Lodge (The Moody Blues)

 

Crossover Prog

4.15 | 65 ratings

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daveconn
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The New Rolling Stone Record Guide (published in 1983) dismissed this out of hand as a mediocre Moody Blues album. If they listened to the record before reaching that conclusion, they needn't have. In their jaundiced world, there was little place for plaudits in the Moodies canon, so they stuck a blue ribbon on the obvious choice (Days of Future Passed) and snuck past the other animals thinking no one would notice. On the surface, Blue Jays would seem to be the Moodies at half mast. But it soars, simply soars. The songs are more intimate than their work as a band, equally ambitious (an orchestra appears on several tracks) but infused with a keener sense of melody and form. In fact, Blue Jays sounds very much like a very good Barclay James Harvest album. Both leaned on the minor key legacy of The Beatles, and it's easy to imagine songs like "Remember Me, My Friend," "You" and "My Brother" spilling from the pen of an inspired George Harrison. The opening "This Morning" is a harbinger of good things to come, swelling with melodic invention. Without a strong unifying theme (loneliness, friendship, love and the search for an intangible answer are familiar themes on Blue Jays, but the same could be said for most Moodies albums), Blue Jays lacks the grand statement of a Days of Future Passed or On The Threshold of a Dream, but it contains at least as many good ideas (and maybe more) than those albums. I'd rank Blue Jays right up there with the Moodies most successful forays, especially if you couldn't wait for the next Justin Hayward or John Lodge track to roll around on those albums. The pair seem interested in returning to their pastoral roots on Blue Jays, so don't expect anything as agitated as "I'm Just A Singer" or "The Story In Your Eyes." Instead, relax and ride on Blue Jay's back by wings of strings and a tail pointed in the direction of pure melody.
daveconn | 4/5 |

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