20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
a question of taste...,
This review is from: A Question Of Balance (Audio CD)
'A Question of Balance', the fifth album released by the Moody Blues during their first string of releases, often suffers from an unjustifiable volume of criticism from those who felt the band lost their way somewhat with this work. Certainly, it's not their greatest or most consistent release, but if one looks at it as a separate work in its own right rather than what it followed ('Days of Future Passed') and what was yet to come ('Seventh Sojourn') then it still proves capable of standing the test of time.
With their previous release ('To Our Children's Children's Children') the Moody Blues had fallen into a trap which many bands find themselves unable to escape - that of increasing lush, even extravagant production and instrumentation - a sound that proved both difficult to reproduce live and also left the band wondering if they could outdo themselves with the next 'epic' in the sequence. Rather than bow to this pressure which would come to bear on so many prog-rock bands of the ensuing decade, the band chose to stand still, even step back to allow a more clear-cut sound to emerge. Not only that, but they managed to do so without losing either their definitive sound or sense of musicianship.
The result might not have been to all tastes, but even the harshest critics can't deny the quality exuded by tracks such as 'Question' (cruelly denied a UK No 1 by a combination of the BBC and England's World Cup squad) and 'Melancholy Man' which hold their own against anything ever recorded by the band. Sure, some of the songs (How Is It, Tortoise and the Hare, Minstrel's Song) suffer against these two by comparison, but so would many tracks from their other releases. And as a package, A Question of Balance achieves exactly that in terms of the way it flows as a whole album.
A worthwhile purchase, if you're a keen fan of their work. If not, perhaps you'd be better off with a Best Of package anyway...
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Initial post: 1 Dec 2013 09:10:31 GMT
David Cassells says:
Nice that you gave it 4 stars, but this to me is one of the greatest recordings of all time. :) So the bit about ".....it's not their greatest or most consistent release......" is like a red rag to a bull for me. In my view, every track is a gem, in particular "The Balance". Simply wonderful.
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