A Question of Balance, an Exclamation of Dizziness
Overall Album Score: 9.1 out of 10
I lost interest in Moody Blues lyrics about eight decades ago, but my good sources inform me that these are a bunch of hippie-derived, tree-hugging ditties about Mother Earth in all of her glory and why it is important that old, fat guys to stop farting so that it doesn't get too polluted. Now, don't get me wrong! I like Mother Earth, and all of her trees ... I like the coniferous and the deciduous. I like the wildflowers and the wild grasses. I like the granny apples and the red delicious. But there's one thing that I don't like: hippies. DANG HIPPIES!
To be perfectly honest with you all, I realize perfectly that I've taken a completely nonchalant and sometimes bitter stance toward the Moody Blues. Nevertheless, I want to remind you that I fully recognized them for the artists that they truly are in all of my Moody Blues reviews. ...Indeed, they are one of the highest-rated bands on this site! They have been getting such a high number of albums that linger around the high-8, low-9 mark! ... Most musicians would have to work VERY HARD to make even a single album that deserves such a high rating. ...And how many do the Moody Blues have so far? Four out of five? ... Hey! These guys are pretty good.
Nevertheless, I also made it clear throughout the reviews of all their post Days of Future Passed albums that I never cared a whole lot for this Mellotron thing, even though it is a large attribution to why the Moody Blues were so beautiful all the time. Alright, their Mellotron style isn't quite as prominent with this album as it was in the last three, but that's not why I like A Question of Balance better than those. It's the melodies! Of course, the Moodies were always strong on their melodies, and they usually went to great lengths to get them right. However, with A Question of Balance, the melodies are so increasingly nice that I can listen to this album and enjoy the Moody Blues without any reservations whatsoever. I sit, relaxed in my chair, and listen to this most-pleasant music ... and I say to myself, "You know, I really *can* like hippies if I put my mind to it."
Overall Album Score: 9.1 out of 10 (Ooooooh! This was so close in beating out Days of Future Passed in the greatest Moody Blues album ever. Nevertheless, I found A Question of Balance one of the most enjoyable overall listening experiences that the Moody Blues have ever given me. Kudos!)
Average Song Score: 8.9 (Cool! This is a very nice set of songs! Although, nothing really moved me enough to quite warrant a 10, there's not one bad track in the lot.)
Album Tilt: 9.5 (This is *precisely* why I employ an "Album Tilt" category. Whereas The Moodies previous album received the same average song score, this is the first time that I've ever actively enjoyed sitting through a Moody Blues album. That deserves an "album" boost by definition!)
Artist Rating: 9.0 (The Moody Blues are still great rock-and-roll artists! Few could top them ... although they do dabble in pretentiousness a bit too closely here.)
Lah lah lah! Hey! Are you having an affair with JOHN DENVER? Hmmm... this album was made in 1970. I don't think that John Denver ever existed yet. So, this song is okay, I guess. The melody here is really spot-on. I don't have to struggle'n'strain to like the melody like I did too many times on their previous efforts (while still pretending that I like the songs). Nope. "Question" is a good song with many different parts and each has a pretty good melody. I don't like the end of it that much, but it's all right.
How Is It (We Are Here) 9/10
Lah lah laaaaaaaaaah! Hey! This one doesn't have a bad melody here, either! That Mellotron is really creepy, which means it's just an average, ordinary Moody Blues Mellotron. There's some neat, heavy guitars on here, which is kinda cool, though. Overall, a satisfying effort, indeedy.
And the Tide Rushes In 9/10
Here, the Moody Blues are not only hippies, they're FOLKY HIPPIES! ... That's how this one starts off anyway. And then that Mellotron creeps in ... yikes! But you know what? This song is enjoyable, too. Even though they're creeps, they still have super arranging capabilities. And, again, the melody is uncharacteristically strong of them.
Don't You Feel Small 9/10
Hey! What's that really weird percussion instrument? ... Whatever it is, it's weird! ... That's not the only aspect of it that makes "Don't You Feel Small" an entertaining song. Even though it is done by danged hippies, it's a strong number because, again, the melody is excellent. That's some nice floot, too.
Tortiose & the Hare 8/10
I still call "Tortoise & the Hare" an entertaining song, but the melody here goes slightly under-quality. Nevertheless, it is bouncy, and bits of it have enough energy in it to make it entirely memorable.
It's Up to You 9.5/10
Cool song! Although, this one is closer to pop-rock than art prog-rock. Oh well! What's wrong with creating more pop music? At least I find it more enjoyable to listen to. Those of us that don't really care for the Moodies' style of Mellotron music would probably enjoy this one *particularly* ... but it's still not immune from some masterful sound mixing! A nice one!
Minstrel's Song 8.5/10
Boy ... the Moody Blues are nearly *done* with this album, and they really show no sign of relenting! "Minstrel's Song" is a nice pop anthem with a good melody, a nice thumping beat ... more classic and non-annoying Moody Blues!
Dawning is the Day 9/10
...I told the wind which way to blow once... (Sorry ... I was just responding to some lyrics!) This one takes the Moodies on a quieter, more acoustic route. I really like the notes they strum on those guitars! ... That's really what makes this song so gorgeous. Another wonderfully strong and entertaining song!
Melancholy Man 9.5/10
Whoah ... now this is not only gorgeous in its arranging, it's also very enchanting and even chilling! Perhaps, even it has the most memorable and hum-able melodies on the album ... or maybe that's because it's such a bloody simple tune! Anyway, this is one of my favorite tracks from the album.
The Balance 8/10
Wow! They almost completely *blew* it here ... but as I'm searching for something to enjoy about this poem-track with a stupid hippie chorus in the middle of it ... I find that I don't really hate it. That's good enough for me! (I also find that fake female singer in there kind of amusing as well.)
My wits will start having a question of balance unless you e-mail your comments here right now.