In Search of the Lost Orchestra
Overall Album Score: 7.7 out of 10
As if endless LSD experimentation wasn't enough for the late-60s culture, they have to release insane, fruity albums with stupid concepts like "Searching for the Lost Chord" and they just have to accompany the music with loads of early-Mellotron instrumentals and ...OGHHHHHHHH! Why on Earth did the Moody Blues think they needed to utilize a Mellotron, anyway? Was the London Symphony too expensive for ya? ... Eh! I guess they did sound pretty cheesy, after all. So, I doth forgive you. But why did you have to replace the "tasteful" psychedelia of The Days of Future Passed with this generic-ish psychedelia???? Heck if I know! I guess it was perfectly fine for 1968, but it's not 1968 anymore, man!
But for generic-ish psychedelia, this isn't bad at all. Most of the songs sport a nice sense of melody (some melodies, however, are too corny and others are too non-existent). The main strength of these songs, however, lie in the Moodies' generally well-refined taste in arranging! Heck! Some of these tracks sound great just by merits of this arranging! While they weren't the greatest masters of the studio on the planet (if they were great masters of the studio, they wouldn't be getting 7's), they were still very very good. And, there is a good reason why the Moody Blues are one of the most famous art-rock bands of the galaxy.
Now, while the overall score was probably boosted by the merits of the arranging, the same aspect also helps keep it down! Some of these arrangements are too danged psychedelic! Ick! Another factor in the lower overall song score is that some of these songs are just boring. However, ultimately, there are only two culprits in there. They would have to be "Om," which is the overblown, melodiless blah-fest that closes the album, and there's also-yawn-"Visions of Paradise." There are also some stupid, over-pretentious speaking tracks in here that they should have scrapped, but they don't waste enough of my time for me to find them that horrid.
I urge you to proceed with listening-to/purchasing this album with caution. There are going to be a certain number of weirdoes who will like this album (...specifically die-hard fans of art-rock and psychedelia...) but anyone who hates those aforementioned music genres should steer clear of this!
Overall Album Score: 7.7 out of 10 (If you are aware that this is a very dated late-60s psychedelic album, you ought to be perfectly fine with this! ... Anyone who listened to Days of Future Passed and liked it A LOT, then put this one somewhere on that list of yours.)
Average Song Score: 7.6 (Oh! This is some weird psychedelic hippie stuff! ... It's not the world's greatest congregation of songs, but a lot of it is fun to listen to for curious Gen-Y'ers like me! Unfortunately, there's some dull stuff in here, as well.)
Album Tilt: 8.0 (Fark! I don't know what I want! I sound like I'm complaining a lot throughout this review ... but I actually like this album! Besides, I think the "Average Song Score" was unjustly dragged down by the ultimately ignorable talking-tracks.)
Artist Rating: 7.5 (Yeah ... even though the Moodies take a very noticeable artistic step down from their awesome breakthrough, I can't complain anywhere about them being totally unartistic. Okay ... there's too much psychedelia in here ... but even its dull moments aren't entirely uninteresting.)
Hey! Quit talking! I want some muuuuuuzik!
Ride My See-Saw 8.5/10
Ah! Here's some muuuuuuuzik! Thank you! ... Hey! I'm into the Flower Power thing myself, man. This song is grooooooovy. 'Ay! Do you got some LSD, baby? ... No! I don't mean that drug stuff, man, I meant Leftover Sandwich Dingies! You don't have any? That's a bummer, man. Anyway, I was about to go burn my draft card. See you later, love.
Oh! Oh! Oh! ... Um ... I guess if you're going to listen to crazy psychedelic stuff, then you had might as well listen to "Ride My See-Saw." Yeah ... I know that psychedelic stuff was a strange fad, but ... um ... there have been less tuneful fads that I can think of. However, that muddled, psychedelia on this song does go a little bit too far, methinks! But it does have a decent-enough melody and I can enjoy it without too much straining.
Dr. Livingstone I Presume 8.5/10
Track layering, I Presume? ... As "Ride Me See-Saw" fades away, "Dr. Livingstone I Presume" starts up. This one has a strong melody and is pretty much enjoyable throughout ... even though they borrowed this melody from The Days of Future Passed. Eh ... who cares? It's deviant enough to be considered a song by its own right.
House of Doors 9/10
Heh! I like this one! The melody is subtler (...eh ... sometimes a subtle melody is a good thing, as long as bands know how to treat it ... and the Moodies know how to treat a song.) It's not quite as memorable as "Dr. Livingstone," but I really enjoy the utter peculiarities of this track the cool arranging, the door-opening sound effects, the strangely placed classical interludes, and ... crap, this is bizarre!
Legend of a Mind 8.5/10
I heard that Timothy Leary was really into the Leftover Sandwich Dingies, as well! He was also really weird! (And that's exactly why I like 'im!) ... Okay, I don't really like Timothy Leary ... I hate all hippies. It's not that I particularly hate their ideals (who doesn't love a little bit of Leftover Sandwich Dingies and a bit of Tree Love now and again?) ... it's just those tie-die t-shirts really freak me out. And, if you don't make them right, they'll stain everything else in the washing machine.
...Oh! I bet you're wondering about the song! Well, I don't really care what it's about, but it does mention that Timothy Leary is dead (they fail to mention "prostate cancer" ... but that's okay). This track is too long (and heaven knows that it's too psychedelic), but it's tuneful, engaging and-yes-it's quite enjoyable.
House of Four Doors (Part 2) 9/10
Sequel! Sequel! Sequel! It's kind of like "Airplane 2: the Sequel," or "The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure," or "The Terminator II: Judgement Hay," or "Striptease II: What Lies Beneath the Panties," or ... or ... Hey! Why'd they make a "House of Four Doors" sequel? That's insane! ... And you're only allowed to make sequels to movies. You guys are freaking weirdoes! (This song is only two minutes long, and it's tuneful ... there's no harm in that, now is there?)
Voices in the Sky 8/10
Berg Frimmed Burgerdeded HIPPIES! THEY LEGALIZE DUCK HUNTING, SO WHY SHOULDN'T THEY LEGALIZE HIPPIE HUNTING! HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!!! Oh ... excuse me ... I wasn't really advocating the practice of hunting hippies. I'm pretty sure that after all those drugs, they're all dead anyway. Um ... never mind.
Well, this melody simply won't do! That fruity flute doesn't help, either. This track is definitely not one of the album's strongest moments ... relatively speaking, it's dull ... but it's not awful by any means. (This is one of the more famous tracks of the album. I suppose it deserves some of this fame ... it is one of the more normal songs here. But, 'normal psychedelia?' I guess if you like that concept, then all the more power to you!)
The Best Way to Travel 7.5/10
Well... this one isn't really strong, either. Um ... Boy, I'm really starting to get bored, all of the sudden. Where is that lush, innovative instrumentation? ... It gets pretty good at the very end of this track, but it's over by then!
Visions of Paradise 6/10
Oh, crap! ...
THEY JUST GO TOOOOO FAR HERE! THE MOODY BLUES ARE NOTHING BUT A PACK OF LONG-HAIRED FRUITCAKES! Grrrr...
This song doesn't have a good melody WHATSOEVER and their instrumentation here ONLY BARELY saves it from washing away down the toilet. Just barely! I can sustain a single yawn during the entire duration of this track, I think. It's nothing but a load of psychedelic willynilly!
The Actor 8/10
Nope, the Moodies have definitely left their strongest material for the beginning of this album. However, this track is quite decent! I like that psychedelic, sort-of operatic chorus! The instrumental aspect of the song, while it's fallen in the forbidden fields of psychedelia and it can't get up, it's mildly entertaining.
The Word 2/5
Hey, you pretentious jerk! I told you to quit talking! I wanna some muuuuusik!
...But I don't wanna this muuuuusik!
What kind of a weird thing is this? ... If you were following the concept at all, then this is the part where they find 'the lost chord.' And, it turns out to be 'The Om.' Yeah, I'd imagine that somebody's on CRACK. That's sort of a strange place to look for a lost chord, anyway. The first place I'd look would be near an electrical outlet. (Oops ... um ... my sources tell me that they are looking for a musical 'chord' and not an electrical 'cord.' Sorry for the confusion.) If you're going to like this wank-fest of a psychedelic song, you're going to have to not particularly care about there not being a melody, and you'll probably also have to have a particular fetish for the sitar. I've got no problem with the ladder!---um ... *latter*. (Who the heck would be looking for a lost chord anyway? ... Somebody's doesn't have life, i.e. hippies.)
Tell us about your lost-chord expedition, and how you licked one too many toads here!
firstname.lastname@example.org (GreenEggs&Hamlet) received March 22, 2005
The reason why 'Om' is the album finisher on 'In Search Of The Lost Chord' is because when "Om" is pronounced correctly, it begins in the base of the throat and travels through all of the open-air vowel sounds until it ends with a closed-lip hum and fades into the silence from where it came.
It's a philosophical mind-expansion technique meant to teach you about the journey of life, where we came from, where we all must go, etc. The "lost chord" that the Moodies were searching for is ultimately unattainable because it exists somewhere in the void beyond our own lives, in that silence where there is no sound...pure hippie power, man(but meaningful if you give it some thought).