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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Moody Blues

Seventh Sojourn

Review by Gary Hill

This album from the Moody Blues probably falls in the middle of the road of their older stuff. There are a few exceptional tracks. There are others that aren't as impressive. Still, isn't that true of most releases. Besides, a lesser old-school Moody Blues album is still better than the best output of some other acts. It should be mentioned that I previously reviewed a couple of these tracks on a compilation disc. For the sake of consistency, those track reviews are used here.

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Track by Track Review
Lost in a Lost World
An ambient element starts this. Then drums join. The cut works out to an energized Moody Blues jam that almost seems to have hints of jazz. There is a definite psychedelic texture, too. This gets into some powerful zones as it works forward. I really like the vocal arrangement a lot. It's classic Moodies.
New Horizons
Acoustic guitar melodies bring this into being. As the vocals join, it becomes obvious that this is a gentle and pretty song. Layers of sound create a lush arrangement. The cut powers up a bit, but overall is a pretty balladic number.
For My Lady
There is an old-world musical element to this cut. It's another mellower piece. I've always been a big fan of this one, too. It has a bit of a sea-shanty vibe to some of the more up-tempo parts.
Isn't Life Strange
This is a unique and very intriguing song. The verses have an echoey vocal line and are pretty much purely symphonic in musical arrangement. The chorus is powered up in a very dramatic and powerful motif that just plain rocks, but still maintains a healthy dosage of the symphonic textures.
You and Me
Here we get a rocker, electric guitar and all. There is a definite psychedelic edge to it along with prog tendencies. It moves to a mellower, more melodic movement for the verses. The choruses are more powered up. The tune is a strong one that's very much trademark Moody Blues. I dig the cool guitar-led instrumental movement at the end.
The Land of Make-Believe
Acoustic guitar brings this piece into being. It works along in a rather playful way as it grows. As it grows out and electric creates fills over the top it really gets powerful. There is plenty of that Moody Blues psychedelia meets symphonic element in the mix. This thing gets quite powerful as it continues to evolve and drive onward.
When You're a Free Man
A mid-tempo number, this isn't quite a rocker, but it's more than a ballad. The vocal arrangement is classic Moody Blues. The tune works well, and there are some tasty guitar fills. This might not be their most memorable track, but it is solid. The arrangement turns quite lush as it approaches the end of the cut.
I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
I’ve always loved how this song starts with a slow percussive element that builds like a spring being pulled taut. This is one of the hardest rockers the band has ever done and it’s a great tune. It still has plenty of their symphonic prog sounds and frankly, it still holds up as a true classic even today. Does it sound a little dated? Yeah, but not enough to feel like a remnant of past era. It still feels vital. It’s a safe bet that pretty much everyone reading this has heard this song so, we’ll leave the description at that.
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