RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Justin Hayward – Spirits of the Western Sky
Eagle Rock

Rating: B

Justin Hayward is back with his first solo album since 1996.  While he is best known as one of the lead songwriters/vocalists/guitarists for the legendary Moody Blues, Justin has, after a long break, released some songs that showcase his creativity in ways that the Moody’s would never approach, including a stab at bluegrass.

“What You Resist Persists,” “Broken Dream,” and “It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart” were recorded in Nashville with bluegrass musicians.  The music is not totally authentic bluegrass as Justin spins it all in his own style. 

Hayward also co-wrote the tune “On the Road to Love” with Kenny Loggins, “He and I were both on the road and staying in the same hotel,” states Justin. “We had a great day playing guitar together and we came up with ‘On The Road To Love’. Kenny plays and sings on the track with me. This album is a labor of love. It’s been my whole life for the last few years. I know we all have many choices nowadays and I thank everyone who gives my album a listen and brings these songs into their collection. Every track is truly from my heart.”

The album is orchestrated by Anne Dudley, a very in demand musical talent and former member of Art of Noise.  Hayward remarks, “Anne is one of the true greats, in the same rarefied class of orchestrators as Peter Knight, who was such an inspiration in my early Moody Blues days. I’ve worked with Anne on different projects over the years and it’s always a joy (when she is arranging, all the studio musicians know it’s going to be wonderful).”

Moody fans will love this album as it is yet another honest release from one of the most special songwriters in the world.  Even the slightly bizarre remake of “I Know Your Out There Somewhere” works…the song, titled “Out there Somewhere (Raul Rincon Remix) is very electronica and pretty out there itself.  Yet, it is honest and is obvious that Justin enjoyed the remake.  

This one is not breaking down any musical walls, but it is a very personal and honest album filled with insightful and thought provoking music. 

1) In Your Blue Eyes
2) One Day, Someday
3) The Western Sky
4) The Eastern Sun
5) On The Road To Love
6) Lazy Afternoon
7) In The Beginning
8) It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart
9) What You Resist Persists
10) Broken Dream
11) Captivated By You
12) One Day, Someday (Alternative Extended Version)
13) Rising
14) Out There Somewhere
15) Out There Somewhere (Raul Rincon Remix) 

By Jeb Wright