Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Moody Blues - The Present
The line-up of the band for this record was Justin Hayward (vocals and guitar), Graeme Edge (drums), John Lodge (vocals and bass), Patrick Moraz (keyboards) and Ray Thomas (vocals, harmonica and flute).
Side one begins with the beautifully blended synthesizers and flute of the pessimistic “Blue World”. As the first single, it went to number 62 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 40 in Canada, number 35 in the UK, and number 32 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
“Meet Me Halfway” is pining plea to a lover; this listener hopes that he gets a reply.
“Sitting at the Wheel”, the second single, went to number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 18 in Canada, and number 3 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. This up-beat anthem has a very Electric Light Orchestra sound to it which I enjoy a lot.
The B-side to the first single was desperate cries of “Going Nowhere”.
Side two opens with “Hole in the World”, the album’s sole instrumental track. The imagery summoned up is that of a march through a desolate land, winds blowing on high. It segues into the next track.
“Under My Feet”, a song about taking chances and unexpected surprises, was the B-side to the third single. I like the organ and horns that support this one.
“It’s Cold Outside of Your Heart” shifts gears by diving into a country music genre, thanks to the whisking percussion and the gentle guitars. I would have cut back on the synth influences on the chorus though, keeping to a simpler arrangement.
The ballad “Running Water” was released as the third single.
“I Am” opens with a lovely flute solo which is then joined by a vocal of awakening self-awareness. This track moves quickly into the next one.
The final track “Sorry” was also the B-side to the second single. I am guessing radio stations would play both of these two tracks together as they fit like jigsaw puzzle pieces to make a clearer picture.
My first impression of The Present is that of an enjoyable listening experience. The Moody Blues crafted a solid record here, and there are definitely a number of tracks I am looking to add to my music library in the future.