The Moody Blues continued to soldier on with this album, finding a hit with Justin Hayward's smooth and silky "Your Wildest Dreams", and - with dominant keyboard work from Patrick Moraz (as well as drum machine touches) - they fit into the mid-eighties pop scene comfortably.
Said hit opens the album in fine form, and the next two tracks - "Talkin' Talkin'" and "Rock 'n' Roll Over You" - continue the quality, the latter in particular, by John Lodge, benefiting from the group vocals (which continue to be a strength of the band) and a repetitive keyboard line.
Then there's a bit of a dip. I just don't care about Hayward's ballad "I Just Don't Care", and the following "Running Out of Love" isn't much better, before things hit their stride again with the title song, and then the Graene Edge/Moraz-penned "The Spirit" (the only song not written by Hayward or Lodge), which is melodiously beautiful. The final two songs slip a bit, although Lodge's concluding, sleepy "It May Be a Fire" is nice enough.
But where's Ray Thomas in all this? He has no writing credit, there's no sound of a flute, and his voice isn't noticeable, although one would imagine he's in the vocal mix somewhere. This is where he really started to get pushed not just to the background, but virtually over to the audience somewhere. I mean, even the drummer gets a song, but not him?
Overall however, The Other Side of Life
is a decent release from a band which had by now been going for over twenty years, demonstrating they still had a knack for melodies and skillful songcraft. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor