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Strange Times

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Other albums by The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues 8/10/1999

Review

A lot of people will laugh at the idea of a new Moody Blues album, eight years after their last new release and 35 years after the original band started in the business. The fact is, though, that this is about the liveliest and leanest that the group has sounded in more than 20 years. Among this collection of 14 songs, ten have very pleasing melodies, unpretentious lyrics, and generally attractive performances. That puts Strange Times several steps above the last few of the group's albums. In contrast to their previous album, Keys of the Kingdom, the vast majority of songs here are steeped in romance rather than pop mysticism -- nothing here is quite as catchy as "In Your Wildest Dreams," but several come close. Moreover, the group has built its sound on Strange Times around acoustic and electric guitars. The electronic keyboards are embellishment, nothing more, making for an unexpectedly lean and melodic album, less symphonic than anything they've done in decades. There are a few unfortunate digressions into the mystical side of the band's persona, but most of what's here are unpretentious love songs. Strange Times is still their most attractive album since Octave, and boasts their best album opener ("English Sunset") since "You and Me" from Seventh Sojourn. Not everything works that well, but even some of the heavy-handed work here, such as "The One," has some pretty vocal flourishes. "The Swallow" is one of Hayward's prettier slow numbers and worth its five-minute running time. There are still some mistakes, to be sure, including the pretentious title song and Graeme Edge's album-closing recital, "Nothing Changes," but Strange Times is still about as good an album as the Moody Blues have cut since the '70s. ~ Bruce Eder
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 English Sunset The Moody Blues 5:5
  3. 2 Haunted The Moody Blues 4:31
  4. 3 Sooner or Later (Walkin' on Air) The Moody Blues 3:50
  5. 4 Wherever You Are The Moody Blues 3:36
  6. 5 Foolish Love The Moody Blues 3:56
  7. 6 Love Don't Come Easy The Moody Blues 4:34
  8. 7 All That Is Real Is You The Moody Blues 3:34
  9. 8 Strange Times The Moody Blues 4:29
  10. 9 Words You Say The Moody Blues 5:32
  11. 10 My Little Lovely The Moody Blues 1:46
  12. 11 Forever Now The Moody Blues 4:37
  13. 12 The One The Moody Blues 3:39
  14. 13 The Swallow The Moody Blues 4:59
  15. 14 Nothing Changes The Moody Blues 3:33

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