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The Moody Blues - Seventh Sojourn CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.71 | 286 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The last MOODY BLUES album before an extended break (of more than five years, the equivalent to the whole existence of the Classic Seven phase), it encapsulated some of the strengths and all of the faults of THE MOODY BLUES.

The band relied on journeyman JOHN LODGE for both the singles, the extraordinarily unlikely 'Isn't Life Strange?' and 'I'm Just a Singer'. Of the former, the best I can say is that it's certainly true to its title. Strange indeed. Whereas most MOODIES songs flow with a gentle assuredness, this stutters from start to drawn-out finish. That it made the US top 40 is entirely attributable to the 'pull-up' effect of the appearance of 'Nights In White Satin' on the charts at #2. The second single from the album is a standard LODGE rocker, albeit developed a little further than his charming song fragments from albums like the magnificent 'To Our Children's ...'

I've started by talking about the singles rather than the album because this is not an organic whole like the preceding six MOODY BLUES albums. Each songs fades to silence, and has no relationship to the one following. There are no first and second parts, no song fragments, no intoxicating mixture of styles, none of that which made THE MOODY BLUES a producer of outstanding albums. This is no more than a collection of songs.

Of these songs, 'New Horizons' demonstrates yet again just what a supreme talent JUSTIN HAYWARD is, underlined to a lesser extent by 'The Land of Make Believe'. If you can stomach the saccharine sentiments you will find one of the world's great pop sensibilities. And there's his voice: he could sing words from an H.G. Wells novel and it would sell a million. What's that? He did? Doesn't surprise me.

I really want to hate RAY THOMAS'S 'For My Lady'. Cloying lyrics and the most twee of tunes. Ugh. But I like it. Sorry. I'm embarrassed by this, and I'm happy to be locked up in the prison for those with bad taste. Of the rest, PINDER'S two tracks are a continuation of his Messiah complex, preaching transcendental love as the salvation of the world over some of the most morose music ever performed. Didn't anyone tell him how unconvincing this sounds? By now he'd certainly lost the inspiration that had led to 'Have You Heard' and 'Out and In' from previous albums. I suppose the tepid 'When You're a Free Man' is OK. 'You and Me' whistles past in a blink of forgettable mediocrity.

So there it is, the great period of 1967-72, five years when the five lads comprising THE MOODY BLUES put together some of the most intriguing, promising and frustrating albums you'll find on the murky borders of progressive rock. A couple were truly great, a few were simply outstanding, and the rest merely good. This one falls into the latter category. Time for a rest, lads.

russellk | 3/5 |


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