Matt Walsh | Pepperell, MA United States | 02/15/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is the album where the horrid, cheesy, predominant musical influences of the 80's grabbed the Moodies by the necks, and what results is shallow, irritating and forgettable tunes that are not worthy of this truly great band.I give it 2 stars instead of 1 because 1) "Your Wildest Dreams" is a great song and 2) this album's two singles brought the band considerable commercial notoriety, which helped keep interest in the band among the general public alive.This really is a sad album though. Ray Thomas is entirely absent, Graeme Edge is virtually absent, and former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz is way too dominant here, infesting the album with whiny, incessant, excessive electric keyboard playing. The song "Talkin' Talkin'" is a great example of this; Moraz's playing is the equivalent of him scratching his nails against a chalkboard. His playing was perfectly nice on "Long Distance Voyager" and "The Present," but I'm guessing he didn't have much influence in the band, and stayed in the background mostly. Here he's given freedom to experiment and all hell breaks loose.John Lodge is at his worst here. His contributions includee "Talkin' Talkin'", a couple of boring, forgettable ballads and a braindead, monotonous rock and roll tune called "Rock and Roll Over You," which mostly consists of the senseless lyric "Like a rock I'm gonna roll over you" OVER AND OVER AGAIN for almost five minutes. I Know "The Other Side of Life" was a hit, and its the only vaguely listenable song on the album save for "Wildest Dreams," but I still don't really like this version. The song is annoyingly monotone and far too long. It's MUCH better live; try the "Night at Red Rocks" recording, which breathes some life into a seemingly dead song.As for the rest of the album... "I Just Don't Care" is perhaps the most unremarkable ballad Justin Hayward has ever written for the Moodies, and "The Spirit" and "Slings and Arrows" are absolutely awful. The next two albums definitely had their share of problems, but they shine brightly compared to this one."
Pop Goes The Moodies
Alan Caylow | USA | 08/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Moody Blues' 1986 album, "The Other Side Of Life," is easily the most polished, radio-friendly offering in their whole catalog, but it's still a very good Moodies album, and I remain pleased to this day that it was a big hit for them, too, their last US Top Ten album. "The Other Side Of Life" has an 80's gloss of keyboards and synth drums, and yet, the music is still great fun, and the Moodies' knack for tuneful singing, songwriting and performing remains intact. Guitarist Justin Hayward's "Your Wildest Dreams" was the big hit song from the album, and it's a nice little number, but my favorite tracks on the disc are other songs that come from Justin's pen, including the excellent title song, which is a marvelously spooky 7 1/2 minute pop-rocker, the sweet "I Just Don't Care," and the catchy pop of "Running Out Of Love," co-written with bassist John Lodge. Also worth mentioning are "The Spirit," co-written by keyboardist Patrick Moraz & drummer Graeme Edge, and Lodge's fine power ballad finale, "It May Be A Fire." Excellent pop from beginning to end, "The Other Side Of Life" is a charming Moody Blues album."
Moody Blues album or Patrick Moraz album?
mb971 | York, PA USA | 06/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My father bought this CD several years ago, but never listened to it (other than "Your Wildest Dreams"), so I listened to it for the first time about a year ago, and at it was a bit disappointing at first. Moraz did not seem to have much input as to the direction of the band's music...until now. I still wonder what Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge did while Moraz was playing with his synthesizers, electric keyboards, and whatever other stuff he used to make this mess. On LDV and THE PRESENT, Pinder and his Mellotron were noticeably replaced by Moraz and his aforementioned junk, but the results were still pretty good. Here, Moraz went way too far, and the results significantly worse than anything else. Although the album is pretty heavily influenced by Moraz, it will actually grow on you. If you listen to this album expecting the original Moody Blues sound with synthesizers, you won't be disappointed. "Your Wildest Dreams," "The Other Side of Life," "I Just Don't Care," and "It May Be a Fire," are actually pretty good songs. However, the other five will take some time to get used to. For fans of the classic MB and only the classic MB, stay away from this, but if you're willing to accept the heavy influence of Moraz, it isn't bad."
Giving The Band A New Life
Matt Walsh | 09/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was quite posible The Moody Blues would have vanished off the face of the musical map had it not been for the release of this record. Had they carried on with the style of music they had been playing prior to this release, there is little doubt that they would have faded away into that English Sunset by now. But they didn't because they made an album filled to the brim with creativity, inspired playing and modern electronic sounds built upon the groups more familiar acoustic foundation, and the signiture imprint of their lush vocal harmonies. In fact, not since the OLD DAYS has this group harmonized so well together, putting all of their voices out there in full throttle, rather than featuring a solo voice that is occasionally greeted momentarily by another vocal as if to remind the listener that there are other people in this group too. The album spawned two hits (Your Wildest Dreams and The Other Side of Life) and two of the most interesting music videos ever made. They have yet to make another album as interesting and creative as this one, although their latest does manage to succeed more than the previous two (Keys and Sur La Mer) did. But their latest release may well have never happened had the band not made this inspired and brilliantly underrated (among Moodies Fans) release that brought them a whole new generation of fans and a second lease on musical life."
The beginning of the drum machine with acoustic guitar era
Dark Star-The Other One | The Bus To Never Ever Land | 01/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"And now for all you Miami Vice fans The Moody Blues. I remember when this album came out as I still had high hopes for the band. Unfortunately, this would also mark the end for my hopes for this band. One of the Moodies strengths for me anyway was the band's ability to make what felt like organic music but with this album all that changed. The band's last album The Present hadn't sold as well as the band had hoped and also the band's label had now been taken over by Polygram. The idea was to come up with an album that would bring in new fans while still keeping the old. Enter new producer Tony Visconti who was most known for working with David Bowie. This album was also the first to feature no playing OR songwriting by Ray Thomas although he's shown in all the group photos and listed as a band member. This album did suceed in creating a new generation of fans thanks to the videos Your Wildest Dreams and The Other Side Of Life getting heavy airplay on MTV. In fact, both videos won MTV video awards. Rock And Roll Over You was featured in the Kirate Kid 2 movie. This was also the first tour the band did with many backup singers and additional musicians. As for the album itself sounds very processed and very 1986 if you know what I mean. There are a few good songs on here to be sure: Your Wildest Dreams, Running Out Of Love, Slings And Arrows, and It May Be A Fire. However, most of the rest is more than forgettible and some is even hard to listen to."