First Appeared at The Music Box, November 1999, Volume 6, #11
Written by John Metzger
What the hell has happened to The Moody Blues? The band that created such ground breaking albums as Days of Future Passed and On the Threshold of a Dream, has not only lost their focus, but also their desire to create. Oh, this isnít really news, since the seeds for the bandís nosedive were first sown after the departure of Mike Pinder. The band managed to churn out one more outstanding effort ó 1981ís Long Distance Voyager ó but have since settled for album after album of overly dramatic love songs. Unfortunately, their latest effort Strange Times finds the group continuing to barrel down this pathway of soap opera delirium.
There is a glimmer of hope for the group, albeit a small one, that lies in the albumís closing track ó Nothing Changes. The Graeme Edge-penned poem finds the band standing at the precipice of the pending millennium and looking back at their career. They reference their early songs, including A Simple Game ó one of the first compositions Pinder contributed to the group. Perhaps The Moody Blues know how far they have fallen. Itís just a shame that they canít seem to stop the slide.
The rest of Strange Times further proves that these veteran cosmic rockers have turned into veteran lovelorn lounge singers. To their credit, the band does explore some moderately interesting musical territory, and guitarist Justin Hayward tosses in a few more solos than usual. However, most of the songs on this disc are dragged to the bottom of the muck by the God-awful lyrics that are much more in-tune with Celine Dionís pathetic chest-pounding antics than the Moodyís classic soul-searching affirmations. Ĺ
Strange Times is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1999 The Music Box