Customer Review

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars relaxed and beautiful, 25 Feb 2013
This review is from: Spirits Of The Western Sky (Audio CD)
Although touring frequently with the revitalized Moody Blues Justin Hayward seems a rare guest in the studio. This being his first solo album since 1996. And not a whole lot of M.B. records either in this time.

What we get here is classic Hayward, well-written songs, heatfelt and clever lyrics mostly about romantic love. And mostly with his peculiar branch of touching melancholy. His dreamy guitar all over the place, supported by Anne Dudley's string arrangements. Most songs slow to mid tempo perhaps the album could seem a bit boring at first listen. But this is real Songs that slowly but surely grab the ears and work their way into the 'subconscious', keep rotating on the inner jukebox.

Not a big come-back or a radical new direction - except for some country influence in 3 of the songs amongst them a reworking of "Broken Dreams" - it is more like a thoughtful letter from a long-time, treasured friend.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Apr 2013 10:45:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Apr 2013 11:13:11 BDT
Joey says:
Not sure I'd agree re 'Revitalised' Moody Blues comment - with Ray Thomas gone (Like Mike Pinder) so we now only have 3/5 of the classic line up and Graeme Edge is now really more of a 'passenger' as arthritis affects him so his drumming has diminished.

Hayward & Lodge carry the band but neither have written anything new for The Moodies in years....we get a 'touring band' that features Female backing vocalists (thus sound nothing like the choral four part harmonies of the classic Moodies at all) - the pretty ladies largely seem to just go 'ooohhh' and 'aarrgghh' as required while moving about provocatively, shaking the odd tambourine, but they hardly substitue for the vital contributions of the retired founders of the group Pinder and Thomas.... (or even for Patrick Moraz, Bias Boshell, or Paul Bliss)

On the plus side Norda Mullen is a very talented flute player, Gordon Marshall (really THE drummer now) is fine, & latterly Alan Hewitt handles keyboards, but it's in my view really Their own 'tribute band' to the classic Moodies doing just Justin & John songs(maybe the odd Edge numer too) - so let's be clear re the 'Touring band' so called Revitalised Moodies...

I would have thought a couple of male supporting musicians doing backing vocals behind Hayward & Lodge would at least 'resemble' the older richer vocal Moodies harmonised sound surely...?

In truth Justin & John's voices sound very 'samey' and give a FAR lighter harmonised sound than Hayward-Pinder-Thomas-Lodge far fuller, richer, complete 'choral' vocal sound was...

that said HOW COME the Moody Blues are STILL not in the laughably political Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ? - a few still bigoted & 'jealous of their vast success' old boring Music journalists in positions of influence is the reason I guess - hence bands like Moodies, Chicago, etc who sold zillions of records & were most influential still get overlooked while some 'johnny come lately' flavour of the month artist(s) who sold zilch by comparason & influenced very few are already inducted !!

Surely Eagle or Universal could allow The Moodies - Hayward, Lodge, Edge, (with Norda on flute, Alan Hewitt on keyboards, Gordon Marshall on support drums if needed) to make new studio albums of fresh Hayward, Lodge, Edge, and Hayward-Lodge Moodies style songs ?

sung by either Justin, John, and by Justin & John together, with maybe the odd poem narration by Graeme.

at least that would be something new for Moodies fans to enjoy...

There OUGHT to be a 'British Invasion' proper musical history and story DVD of The Moody Blues too - Justin, John, Graeme, & both Mike Pinder & Denny Laine are all seemingly agreeable to interviews even if Ray Thomas seems unwilling now (catch 'em while we still have the guys with us ! - Clint Warwick has already left us...)
- b/w footage of the old 'Go Now' era Moodies exists doing a number of songs 1964-66, and then the 'Classic Moodies' 1966-78, the 'Moraz' period Moodies & thereafter, both concert footage, TV shows & promo films could be assembled in chronological order....so how about it ?

Meanwhile...This fine new Justin Hayward solo album is a step in the right direction....besides the TERRIBLE 'murdering' of 'I Know Your Out There Somewhere' tacked on the end - presumably to prove how terribly 'with it', 'modern', 'trendy' and 'contemporary' Justin is....(yawn !)

In truth it sounds dreadfully 'old fashioned' and silly (like it's limped out of the 80's or 90's club scene) the sort of tuneless aural assault you might use as a torture instrument ! - especially all the more embarressingly noticeable being set after all the timeless, serene majestic more typical superb Justin Hayward songs that preceed it here
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