Personnel: Justin Hayward (guitar, keyboards, programming); Frederic Arturi (keyboards); Lele Melotti (drums); Alberto Parodi (programming); Tracey Ackerman (background vocals).
Photographer: Jude Landry.
Spirits of the Western Sky, Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward's first solo outing since 1996's View from the Hill, offers up a well-stocked selection of songs that pay homage to all eras of his meal-ticket band while introducing elements of rural folk and country into the mix. Lyrically simple, yet warm and soulful, songs like the gently fingerpicked "Eastern Sun" and the expansive title track should please "Watching and Waiting"-era Moody fans, while twang-tinged, dobro-propelled ballads like "It's Cold Outside of Your Heart" and "What You Resist Persists" retain the autumnal sentimentality that always resides in the heart of a Hayward composition, despite their folksy, Nashville trappings. ~ James Christopher Monger