The Other Side of Life by The Moody Blues

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The Other Side of Life by The Moody Blues
The Other Side of Life by The Moody Blues

Album Released: 1986

The Other Side of Life ::: Artwork

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1.Your Wildest Dreams4:50
2.Talkin' Talkin'3:55
3.Rock 'n' Roll Over You4:50
4.I Just Don't Care3:25
5.Running Out Of Love4:25
6.The Other Side Of Life6:50
7.The Spirit4:14
8.Slings And Arrows4:29
9.It May Be A Fire4:56

Reviews

This is where The Moody Blues follow even more closely the ongoing synth-pop trend of the time.

I thought they'd struck a pretty nice balance with that on their previous album, where there were a number of songs combining their classic majestic and flowing style with drum machines and synth-bass patterns. Here the drum machines and synthesizers are frequently so stiff there's hardly any room for their classic sound to permeate. Of course I have nothing against stiff synth-pop, the style worked exceedingly well for pioneering acts like Gary Numan and Human League - it just wasn't always such a good fit for The Moody Blues.

Easily the worst thing about this album though is that they had completely given up trying to develop interesting textures. Most of these songs contain nothing but simple one-two one-two drum machine patterns and a plodding synth-bass that seems content merely to play repetitive eighth notes.

I'm making an understatement when I say that Patrick Moraz wasn't the most tasteful keyboardist in the rock'n'roll world, and he's pretty much hopeless when it comes to developing actual textures. Case-in-point, the opening instrumental section of “Your Wildest Dreams” is a corny 80's sci-fi thing, which would've been appropriate for the opening titles of Jack Horkheimer's show ... I mean, the theme they did use is nearly the same thing ... but Horkheimer's production team get a pass since that was a PBS show; this is The Moody Blues.

By the way, “Your Wildest Dreams” is a really good song, it's just the intro that I complain about. It's very close to the spirit of the opening two songs on The Present, a delightful toe-tapping song where Justin Hayward sings a cheery free-flowing chorus with that beautiful voice of his. I couldn't count how many times they've written songs like this, but I somehow love it every single time.

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by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)


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.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor