Justin Hayward, the voice of The Moody Blues long-awaited new album, “Spirits of the Western Sky” (scheduled for release February 26 on Eagle Rock Entertainment); is Hayward’s first solo album in 17 years since 1996’s “The View From the Hill.” Recorded in Genoa, Italy and Nashville, it’s a combination of several different genres; from the opening track, “In Your Blue Eyes,” to traditional acoustic ballads; “Western Sky” and “The Eastern Sun.” Both define his classic signature Moodies voice on soft rock tunes such as “One Day, Someday” "Lazy Afternoon," (featuring orchestral arrangements with Academy Award winning composer-arranger Anne Dudley known for her accolades with Art of Noise and The Full Monty) “In the Beginning” and “Captivated By You.” What’s really impressive is the up-tempo duet with his buddy Kenny Loggins, “On the Road to Love.” That’s definitely a hit on adult contemporary radio!
What makes this album different from his other solo albums is the diversity. He delivers an album that is truly special from his heart. There’s something for everyone no matter what musical genre you’re into.
Justin steers away from the familiar “Moodies rock sound” and explores new areas with bluegrass on three tracks, “What You Resist, Persists” “It’s Cold Outside of Your Heart” (which is also featured on "Moody Bluegrass: Two Much Love”) and a new version of “Broken Dream” which clearly define his vocal talents. Maybe this is the beginning of a new career for him as a country-bluegrass artist? He definitely has that potential. The last two dance remixes of his 80s hit, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” throw the album off-kilter. They should be placed on a separate techno-dance CD.
Justin’s trademark voice is still beautiful, strong, and melodic as ever. The uniquely clever lyrics and music demonstrate his remarkable ability to thrive in any musical genre except house-techno dance music. His fans everywhere will appreciate adding new music to their collection by this timeless rock legend. It’s definitely a winner!