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The Moody Blues - A Question Of Balance CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.51 | 305 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars The Moodies first attempt at simplifying their music for the sake of touring. This is a noble reason to do this, one I'm sure I'd attempt if I tried recapturing the elaborate "Childrens' Children" on stage, but one that puts a minor bump in the artistic road for the band. The songwriting elements are all there, especially Haywards' "Question", but the elaborate production is what has become the hallmark of their sound for the previous three years.

"Question" is undeniable! A true masterpiece which, without the productive layers of earlier albums, retains a lush dramatic sound in a clearer production. "How Is It" also works as a strong Pinder song with minimal purcussion from Edge. (He must still be recouperating from "Higher & Higher" from the last album.) "Tide Rushes In" has a beautiful melody which makes you happy for Thomas; the underdog writer of the group. This track includes very nice acoustic guitar touches from Hayward. Then we take a slight nosedive with "Don't You Feel Small" which clumisly plods along with Thomas' out-of-key flute playing. (It makes you think that Tony Clark said "OK Ray, you can play on this one.") "Tortoise & Hare" doesn't make for the usual Lodge song, as we know he's capable of much MUCH better.

"It's Up To You" gives us a clearer vision on the Moodies with a piece of good classic rock with a dynamite guitar riff. Lodge then redeems himself with "Minstrel's Song", always a favorite of my father and I, which has a majestic anthem like spark to it. "Dawning Is The Day" is another melodic Hayward contribution, always the strong tunesmith of the group. (Thomas now redeems himself with an in-tune and controlled solo in the song.) Now, in my opinion, "Melencholy Man" is an embarrasment. Always was. Overly dramatic and simplistic. It also plods along without very much arrangement and one wonders when it's going to wind down. I can almost see the bored expression on Hayward's face as he's strumming his acoustc guitar. "The Balance" brings back the poetry of "Future Passed" now complete with more yawns. (Sorry Edge fans.)

All in all, an enjoyable album for good repeated listening...every few years or so.

| 3/5 |


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