|For now, below is an artistic review of this album I did a while back on another site.|
I'll try to get a review of the various recordings sound quality in soon.
"A great Prog/Rock masterpiece of the 20th century.
This is a review of the Mobile Fdelity Ultradisc II version of this album.
In a nutshell, Seventh Sojourn has retained a place as one of my absolute favorite albums continuously now for over thirty years. Though I find it is one of the few pieces of rock music that always uplifts me spiritually, I can understand how some might find it depressing.
IMHO, this is a prog album without flaw. Though not clearly identifiable as a concept album, it flows smoothly both musically and lyrically from start to finish. The lyrics and thematic content of each song is timeless and can be related to very strongly in either a positive or negative manner. The other of the Moodies original classic seven albums, though musical masterpieces each in their own right, have not aged as well overall I believe.
There is a "wall of sound" kind of aspect to the production overall. However, it is a very fluid and effective "wall of sound" thanks to Michael Pinder's unique simply gorgeous mellotron/keyboard effects. Justin's Hayward's electric guitar solos and playing on this album in particular is absolute world class....not necessarily virtuosic but simply gorgeus and inspiring throughout, perhaps in particular because the electric guitar is prominent in many places on this album compared to earlier works and delivered in a purely symbiotic manner throughout along with the aforementioned mellotron, keyboards or whatever Pinder used on this particular album ( I think I read once that Pinder used a newer technology keyboard, not technically a mellotron on this album. I am not a electronic keyboard expert. All know is thatwhatever is used it sounds very good to me).
There is nothing else like the tapestry of mellotron/keyboard, guitar and vocals on this album, in all of music, IMHO. A few examples that pop into mind are the guitar solo towards the end of "New Horizons" (breathtakingly soaring) and the guitar/keyboard accompaniment during the chorus sections of "Land Of Make Believe". JH's electric guitar playing (exceptional on this album) and usual excellent vocals on his songs are some of the highest points...however there are continuous and juicy fluorishes delivered by all the Moodies throughout.
To me this album is to rock music what Mahler's Third Symphony is to classical music. It will take you through a truly "Moody" journey from some somber but poignent lows to the most exhuberant of highs. Then it ends with an exhuberant "shrug" to it all as the Moodies resignedly belt out their final statement of this era: "I'm Just A Singer in a ROck and Roll Band".
The Moodies are I suppose just "Singers in a Rock and Roll Band". However, the message of their music, soberly delivered over much of their discography, is in my optinion, the most universal one, a message which many respond to, yes, in a decidely "spiritual" manner. There is no cynicism with the Moodies, as there was to some extent even with the Beatles. Just the purest of universal messages: peace and love and sadness expressed when these ideals are out of reach or not achieved often enough by many in the real world."