The Moody Blues’ John Lodge, “In My Mind” from 10,000 Light Years Ago (2015)

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With its lengthy introductory passage, John Lodge’s “In My Mind” sounds like what it is: The first song written for the Moody Blues legend’s long-waited new solo album, 10,000 Light Years Ago.

But whereas an old-time Moodies track might have been built that anticipatory preamble off a turn by Ray Thomas on flute, “In My Mind” is girded by keyboards before leaping forward on the strength of a series of sharp guitar declamations. John Lodge, in fact, collaborates extensively with guitarist Chris Spedding on 10,000 Light Years Ago — which is due today (May 5, 2015) via Esoteric Antenna/MVD — as well as Thomas and fellow former Moody Blues member Mike Pinder.

That mini-reunion might have recalled their memorable final studio collaborations with on 1978’s Octave but, as Spedding’s roving presence makes clear, 10,000 Light Years Ago aims to do more than resurrect the Moodies’ classic sound — or even, really, to underscore John Lodge’s often-underrated role in the group.

No, 10,000 Light Years Ago does that even as it reveals new conceptual depths about Lodge, who wrote or co-wrote Moody Blues favorites like “I’m Just a Singer,” “Ride My See-Saw,” “Isn’t Life Strange” and “Gemini Dream,” among many others. This new project makes good on a sporadic, though nevertheless intriguing solo career that includes the 1977 album Natural Avenue, as well as a duo project with the Moodies’ Justin Hayward from ’75 called Blue Jays. But it doesn’t rest on those laurels.

In fact, as he set about exploring the idea of fate, and of life’s circular vicissitudes, you hear something exceedingly rare for someone of John Lodge’s vintage and accomplishment: He’s pushing himself to new places on songs like “In My Mind,” musically and lyrically.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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