Picks and Pans Review: The Other Side of Life

updated 06/09/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/09/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Moody Blues

Trading on nostalgia and their greatest hits, over-the-hill bands can stay on the road forever. But if they insist on putting out albums of new material every few years, as this decrepit British quintet is wont to do, they have to be prepared to take their lumps. The Other Side of Life is a high-profile mugging prospect. On recent Moody Blues records, bassist John Lodge has made a practice of writing one up-tempo tune designed to show that there's life left in the old boys yet. The wretchedly stale and forced Rock 'n' Roll Over You is Lodge's most pathetic attempt to date. But then, this whole album is a moldy smorgasbord of connect-the-dots songwriting, stuffy arrangements and histrionic harmonies. The Spirit and Slings and Arrows should be singled out for vilification. Justin Hayward's wistful Your Wildest Dreams is the same boring song he has been writing for 20 years, with minor variations. Still, it's a standout in this crowd. If the Moody Blues' Days of Future Past in 1967 was the band's symphonic masterpiece, then this is the other side of the coin. (Polygram)

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