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John Lodge: 10,000 Light Years Ago

Moodies bassist’s first solo flight since ’77.

Considering it’s under half an hour long (weird, given the Moody Blues’ fondness for bombast), John Lodge’s second solo album (and his first for 38 years) packs a lot in.

There’s the opener In My Mind, which sounds more like Gilmour’s Floyd than The Endless River did, some retro-rock in the autobiographical Those Days In Birmingham, the jazz ballad Love Passed Me By and a taste of melancholy prog in the title track’s finale.

Chris Spedding drops guitars in, former Moodies Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder guest on the acoustic, Nilsson-esque Simply Magic, and Lodge’s voice morphs into Dylan’s on Lose Your Love.

This leaps all over the place like a wasp in a wormhole, which suggests that Lodge had enough ideas to warrant this rare extra-curricular excursion, even if most of them end up sounding inescapably like his band. He rides its seesaw with surprising vigour./o:p

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.