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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Moody Blues

On the Threshold of a Dream

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve always liked this album a lot. It still has a lot of the symphonic progressive rock element one expects from the Moody Blues. The thing is, there is more folk and psychedelia built into this than there is on some of their other discs. It brings some nice variety to the catalog, while still feeling like it belongs. It should be noted that I reviewed a couple of these songs before on a best of album review. For the sake of consistency, those song reviews have been copied or adapted for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
In the Beginning

This is a purely introductory piece. It has sound effects, atmospherics and theatrical voices. The voices provide both dialog and poetry.

Lovely to See You
Coming straight out of the previous tune, this rocker has some definite psychedelia built into it. It’s a great tune, plain and simple. I love the harmonies on the chorus. The whole thing is just so classy.
Dear Diary

There is a bluesy vibe to this. That said, the flute and other elements bring this into psychedelically tinged progressive rock territory. I love the vocal arrangement on this, and the whole piece just drips with class. It’s a mellower, slow moving, tune. It’s also great. The little spoken bit at the end is a nice touch.

Send Me No Wine
Sort of a folk rock tune, there are some Beatles elements here. The thing is, there are also some hints of country music. This is a psychedelic rocker.
To Share Our Love
Coming right out of the previous cut, there is definitely a soaring psychedelic rock element here. This is one of the more complex pieces here, though.
So Deep Within You
Imagine the Moody Blues doing Tom Jones. That’s what a lot of this sounds like to me. It’s a cool rocker with some symphonic elements. It just has a bit of that lounge singer kind of element to it. The later sections of this make me think of Blood Sweat and Tears a bit, too.
Never Comes the Day
Here we get the best of both worlds. The first section of this is a symphonically arranged ballad, but then it kicks into higher gear with a more fast paced treatment. The song progresses by alternating these two premises, becoming more powerful as it carries along. The result is a very dynamic cut. .
Lazy Day
This is definitely folk prog. I love the vocal arrangement on it. The strings and other musical elements add a lot to the charm of the piece, too. The musical arrangement is fairly complex.
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Another that fits well under the category of folk prog. It’s a good song, but not a highlight.
The Dream
Sound effects and weirdness serves as the backdrop for the poetry reading. This is as close to a title track as the album comes.
Have You Heard (Part 1)
There is a symphonic rock element as this starts. When it works to the song proper it’s more of a folk song, but there are definitely psychedelic and prog elements at play, too. The symphonic prog section mid-track is among the best moments of the whole album.
The Voyage
This starts with a full symphonic treatment. After that works through it moves into some exploratory, almost space-like territory. That gives way to more symphonic progressive rock. It lands closer the classical end of that spectrum for a while. Then a melodic building section emerges to bring it more into rock (albeit mellow rock) land. It eventually lands back in the pure symphonic section to end.
Have You Heard (Part 2)

Those same symphonic elements carry over at first. We’re brought back into the familiar folk rock themes from the earlier section of this. Another killer symphonic prog section takes it at the end.

 
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