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Hayward & Lodge - Blue Jays CD (album) cover


Hayward & Lodge


Crossover Prog

4.13 | 87 ratings

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3 stars Should it be the Moody Blues missing piece? Well, could be, why not? We know that in the last 30 years the two moodies, Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who signed this album have gotten the band's leadership. Songs from BLUE JAYS are included in Moody Blues compilations and are presented in their live concerts. Also the sound, the instrumentation, the general atmosphere remember clearly an MB output. Not a great mistake if one says this is a Moody Blues work!

Hayward & Lodge & guest musicians gave definitely a moodie flavor in BLUE JAYS, well, a bit more poppish than the usual, at least for the release date, but it's easy to notice it now, since we all know the history - The Moody Blues that had always flirted with pop, via ballads and love songs went through marriage and the commitment ceremony happened certainly here. However, the result is above average; the mentioned Hayward and Lodge are talented guys: great musicians and fine singers too - all concur to produce an enjoyable album.

"This morning", the opening track, brings some smells of classical MB stuff; the guitar riff is very characteristic although singing pace has a style much more heard in years/albums to follow. The following track, "Remember me, my friend" is audible but offers little and the next track, "My brother", even balladesque, has fine arrangements and fair vocals.

Next three pieces are very pop ones: "You" is pleasant and soft, with another great orchestration and some rock spices. "Nights winters years", with its pompous symphonic touch is a clear attempt to re-create a new "Nights in white satin" (starting with the title), but we know that the lightning only hits the same place once. "Saved by the music" is fair and agreeable, hence forgettable.

"I dreamed last night" continues the general panorama seen in the last tracks, mellow vocals, few challenges to ears and minds. "Who are you now?" is truly a beautiful love song, not prog but somehow uplifting in spite the sad lyrics - there's a hope a happy end will occur finally; also string arrangements are worthy. The orchestral approach returns in "Maybe" with a beginning reminding us old MB's stuff or maybe Procol Harum just to leave room for a somewhat dull lullaby; metals accompaniment give no help to the song.

"When you wake up" is the proggiest song in the album, it certainly could fit DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED extravaganza. Now a sense of deviation, defying and disillusion is clearly felt together with great singing, fine guitar playing and once again accurate strings and piano presence. "Blue guitar" finishes quite well this release, a nice farewell to make us forget some less illustrious moments of the album.

Wouldn't it be Prog Archives and this album could be rated high, but being it not the case I would rate BLUE JAYS for collectors/fans only however one cannot deny that it's a good work, although not essential. Final rating: 3.

Atkingani | 3/5 |


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