Album review: JUSTIN HAYWARD – Spirits of the Western Sky




 Eagle Records (Released 25th February)

The Moody Blues main man Justin Hayward returns with his first solo album since 1996. The album was recorded in Nashville and Genoa and features a few musical adventures with a couple of bluegrass/country tunes and two dance remixes!

As the voice of the Moody Blues as you’d expect much of the album reminds you of the band, especially ‘On The Road To Love’ which sounds like a long lost Moody Blues song from the late 80′s/early 90′s era – a great song. Also Kenny Loggins co-wrote the song and appears as guest vocalist. There is a lot of West Coast AOR flavoured songs including ‘Lazy Afternoon’ and ‘One Day, Someday’, the latter enriched by Anne Dudley’s string arrangements. There is also an extended version of ‘One Day, Someday’.

The bluegrass/country of ‘It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart’ and ‘What You Resit Persists’ (a nice backwards looking lyric that name checks a few historical moments of the Moody Blues) really suits Justin Hayward’s voice and based on these two songs an album of similar tunes could well be a future offering from him.

Now for the two songs that I am sure will have some fans choking on their tea and biscuits…a dance version of the Moody Blues classic ‘Out There Somewhere’, which I actually like and a six minutes plus Raul Rincon remix which pushes my limits it has to be said. But if it exposes the Moody Blues wonderful music to a whole new audience then it’s job done.

Lovely album, wonderfully lush musical arrangements and of course the timeless vocals of Justin Hayward, who has lost none of his vocal prowess. If you’re a fan you will enjoy this album, well at least until you hit the two dance tunes…


Jason Ritchie

In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)

Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)

THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)

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One Response to Album review: JUSTIN HAYWARD – Spirits of the Western Sky

  1. Blanche says:

    Working girl so have heard only a few tracks but wholeheartedly agree, Jason, that Spirits of the Western Sky seems to be a lovely production on all burners and beautifully arranged. Anne Dudley and Alberto Parodi are in step and share a synchronicity with Justin’s ethereal but deliberate creative process. Despite an impatient and wild curiosity … hello, it has been 17 years since The View From the Hill … am managing to temper the wicked impulses and will wait until the CD arrives in the mailbox. I expect the canvas will be richly layered and prefer to hear the whole of it in one lush sweep. How adventurous to add a touch of bluegrass and techno. We 60-somethings have always had pluck and style. Bravo.

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