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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

3.77 | 346 ratings

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FloydWright
Prog Reviewer
3 stars It took me a few listens to get into this album, unlike Days of Future Passed. However, I did come to like it a fair bit...although I can't really give any of the MOODY BLUES albums I've ever heard over a 4. This one doesn't come up quite that far, though, so I give it a 3.

As with Days of Future Passed, a Ray Thomas composition jumped immediately to the forefront--"Dear Diary" was perhaps the biggest highlight on the album for me. This makes a wonderful song indeed for listening to out and about while people-watching. While it definitely picks up on a sense of isolation from the rest of society, it does so without going into excessive venom and resentment, and with the catchy, almost bluesy guitar stylings, and beautiful flute solos, it is a great laid-back listen. The other striking feature of this song is that Mr. Thomas' vocals sound almost like a shockingly good (though rather less bitter) Roger Waters impression! The similarity is quite striking indeed, especially when he starts talking: "Somebody exploded an H-bomb today..." Surely unintentional on Mr. Thomas' part, it is quite an ear-opener to notice.

"Lazy Day" also can be quite strange for a Pink Floyd fan because of the Roger Waters resemblance--as if the same voice with an entirely different technique. I enjoy the effect from the second vocal line that seems to echo in the background, and the other layered vocals. It is not "Dear Diary", perhaps, but enjoyable.

"Lovely to See You Again" has almost a CSNY vibe to it, with the harmonies and clear rock beat, and is a pleasant listen. "To Share Our Love" also had a feeling reminiscent of CSNY, and so these songs seem like a matched set to my ear. Both are quite enjoyable.

"So Deep Within You" has some of the album's most pleasant vocals--it might be said to have a strong "period" sound, but it seems to represent the best of its time. The same could be said for "Are You Sitting Comfortably", especially due to its percussion. Personally, I am reminded of songs like "Dust in the Wind" when I hear it.

"Never Comes the Day" is musically the most striking--the chord progression starting with the lines "But you will help me tonight..." is absolutely fascinating to me.

The album's weak point was for me "Send Me No Wine". The song has a rather folkish, almost country sound to it that I find distasteful (others may appreciate it--I personally dislike that kind of music); as with another reviewer, this song set me in such an awful mood on my first listening that I was ill disposed towards the entire album. Subsequent listenings pinpointed the problem, and in my opinion it is really this one song that causes any trouble--so I skip it.

I also have to admit that I expected a clearer concept, when I first heard "In the Beginning", and was vaguely disappointed when it turned out to be less unified. The sequence from "The Dream" to the second "Haven't You Heard" (I'd like to make a point here that "relaxing" should not be automatically equated with "boring"--I do not find this boring) is quite beautiful indeed. Although the Mellotron sounds dated and awkward to modern ears, it is my understanding that it could be a very temperamental instrument to work with, so I respect Mr. Pinder for having the patience to get some pretty good sounds out of it.

My suggestion is, if you are looking for a more unified, tightly-constructed concept album, you may fare better with Days of Future Passed--but if your main interest is some good music, then don't overlook Threshold.

FloydWright | 3/5 |

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