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The Moody Blues - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.53 | 276 ratings

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4 stars After the near-perfect "Question of Balance", the Moody Blues could have simply rehashed the winning formula, but they instead took a decidedly progressive turn. Not in the sense of contemporaries like Yes, ELP or Tull, but more in their willingness to eschew or at least twist conventional song structures. Unfortunately, where they do stick with the basic Moody Blues art form, a few of the tunes sound one-dimensional, making this also a more uneven Moodys album than its predecessor.

The opener, "Procession", proposes an impressive pan-cultural, even multimedia presentation. It includes shouts and chants as well as various brief electronically charged melodies, all in teaser form. The buildup and denouement into "Story in Your Eyes" is one of the group's more realized dramatizations, and "Story" itself one of their most convincingly terse rockers. Ray Thomas weighs in with the beautiful multilayered and affirming "Our Guessing Game". Unfortunately, while "Emily's Song" is pretty, it is also just a bit too pat, and we expect more from even a post-partum John Lodge, basking in the glow of his newborn. Graeme Edge's "After You Came" effectively irrigates that syrupy aftertaste with a rich and shape shifting rocker.

"One more Time to Live" is the sequel to the album's opener and also boasts several skilled changes in mood. During the more rocking parts the mellotron swirls about and recalls the excellent "Gypsy" from "To Our Children's..". "Nice to Be Here" is Thomas at his sing-song worst, like a children's song that even children would not like. Hayward is a relatively minor contributor this time around but he proves the opportunist, as "You Can Never Go Home" is a simply astounding mini epic of alternating themes, from acoustic ballad to anthemic rock to a spine tingling chorus, or verse, I'm not sure. And finally, Pinder's only offering is the very symphonic "My Song", mostly instrumental and monumentally significant. At times it measures up to the works of more overtly symphonic progressive acts like FOCUS (think "Le Clochard"), but mostly it is a unique amalgamation of the band's own vision of progressive rock, incorporating ethereal keys and flutes with conviction. It's also a great way to end a great album.

A couple of weaker cuts notwithstanding, "Every Good Boy" deserves to be heard.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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