Three English gentlemen—Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward and John Lodge—have been playing together as the Moody Blues since their 1967 Days of Future Passed brought art rock to the mainstream. And while their core audience has aged with them, the band still carries a wonderfully naive and lyrical spirit that would be right at home with the EDC crowd. From 1967’s goofily inspiring “Nights in White Satin” to 1997s “Say it With Love,” the Moodies can still throw a pleasant hook and push a message simple and true: Yes, I love you and Wherever you go/Whatever you do/Say, say it with love.
At 68, Hayward can still press his voice to convey the yearning in “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” In “The Story in Your Eyes,” he makes us believe that from the ashes we can build another day. The band’s earnest reaching for the mystical combined with accessible hints of cosmic space ambience and rock licks is still strong enough to stand up and unashamedly pull at the heart after 50 years: gray, but still hopeful. ★★★★✩
Photos by Edison Graff