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Info 101: Musicbits 53: You can take the moody blue out of the boy

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"AMONG THE STARS" by Mike Pinder

NOTE: 2008 reissue of 1994 LP.

Remember the classic Moody Blues LPs from 1967-1972? Remember Mike Pinder's superb, thoughtful and insightful contributions such as "Have You Heard?", "Melancholy Man", "My Song", "Thinking is the Best Way to Travel"? Yeah, there's none of that here. This album is more closely associated with the feeble R & B the band tried to sell in the early 1960s. You know, white guys with English accents covering James Brown. Please.

This effort by Pinder sounded shallow and redundant compared to his other solo release--"The Promise". It doesn't sound any better on CD. Even his lone attempt to be 'heavy', the title track, is a lame poem read over mood music reminiscent of what was playing in the museum on "Friends" when Ross nailed Rachel the first time. It's a feeble attempt to add depth to a collection of songs that still belong nowhere on this planet.

"When You're Sleeping" features a count-in by a very young boy prior to Pinder expressing his love for the lad (his son, one would hope) and childhood in general. "The Power of Love" and "You Can't Take Love Away" are almost like singles but are more like throwaways. The only track worth a second listen is "Waters Beneath the Bridge", an instrumental.

Pinder, now 71, is too old to be doing or promoting daft crud like this. His best days can't be this far behind him even if this was recorded in the 1990s. Even Sinatra doing "Something Stupid" with his daughter showed more depth than this. Sorry, Mike, but this disc should be hurled "Among the Stars" and left there. Should you need it to complete your collection, go to www.MikePinder.com.

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