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The Moody Blues - On The Threshold Of A Dream  CD (album) cover

ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM

The Moody Blues

 

Crossover Prog

3.72 | 246 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mr. Gone
3 stars To my ears, this is the weakest of the "Core Seven" albums at the beginning of the band's second iteration.

"Lovely to See You" - great song. Really, really great song. Should have been a bigger hit. "Never Comes the Day" and "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" are two other fantastic tracks I never tire of hearing. "So Deep Within You (a rare Mike Pinder love song)" and "Lazy Day" are also highly enjoyable. But "Dear Diary" - eh, nice concept and some clever commentary at the end, but not a terribly interesting melody (and I say this as a person who considers Ray Thomas his favorite Moody). "Send Me No Wine" isn't as bad as some make it out to be, but it's not a classic, either. "To Share Our Love" is a decent rocker from Lodge which sounds great on listening but makes no lasting impression.

And, then...the heresy. I mean, I have no other way to express this. I've always had the strongest feelings about Mike Pinder's compositions of all the Moodies. I either love them or hate them - and for "Have You Heard?", it's not love. I'm sorry - "Now you know that you are real" doesn't really qualify as a worthy lyric in my book. It's a constant problem with Pinder's lyrics - far too much navel-gazing about how "enlightenment" feels. A more liberal worldview is something I have absolutely no problem with - but in his case it can lead to some truly appalling expressions. And I could tolerate the lyrics more readily if the melody was interesting enough - but in this case, it's just not. The same problem resurfaces on "Sun Is Still Shining" and "My Song" - just not that interesting melodically and really bad lyrically ("Moon is still dining with me and you", "I want to sing my song and sing it all day long" - really, Mike, couldn't you find a slightly more "universal" and interesting way to talk about your worldview, something that makes sense in a social statement of some kind?). I know - this is likely to provoke all kinds of negative opinions on this review, and I can understand why. But I will also say that when he hits it right - "Why Is It (We Are Here) and "Out and In" - Pinder writes some of my favorites. And I also know that his skills as an arranger helped shape the Moody sound on songs he didn't write. So my major problem is with some of his compositions - and, unfortunately, while "Have You Heard?" is well-loved by many, it's probably the song of his I have the hardest time with. "The Voyage" is actually quite good, and I listen to it every time I put this disc in my CD player. But "Have You Heard?"...well, I've said enough.

So, while there are some great songs here, as a whole "On the Threshold of a Dream" is more uneven and contains more duds and mediocre material than the remainder of the "Core Seven" albums (plus a certain lack of cohesion present on most of the band's other material in this period). Three stars - not terrible, but certainly not a classic.

Mr. Gone | 3/5 |

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