Michael Pinder – The Promise (1976)

Michael Thomas “Mike” Pinder (born 27 December 1941, Erdington, Birmingham, England) is an English rock musician, and is a founding member and original keyboard player of the British rock group The Moody Blues. He left the group following the recording of the band’s album, Octave, in 1978. He is especially noted for his technological contribution to music.

The Promise is a 1976 solo album by Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues, recorded during their sabbatical from 1974 to 1977.
During the Moody Blues’ mid-’70s hiatus, Mike Pinder put out his first solo album with “The Promise” in 1976. If you’re a big fan of his Moody Blues work and are coming to this album looking for more from where that came from, you may be in for a surprise, because Pinder definitely turned a musical corner here. At times, the sound is still quite lush, but this is basically mid-’70s soft rock with little of the symphonic sound of the Moodies–it seems Pinder used the Mellotron mostly for ‘ornamental’ effects, and he actually went with an Arp synth for the ‘string’ sounds on “You’ll Make It Through”. Additionally, there’s very much of a jazz flavor to the flute-laden “Someone To Believe In”, as well as a heavy gospel vibe on “You’ll Make It Through” and on the coda of “Free As A Dove”. Pinder’s vocals are generally mellow and typically earnest, though occasionally they’re a bit shakey and at times slip over into sappiness. Certainly, Pinder’s talent for engagingly tuneful songwriting is solidly on display on a majority of the songs here–the uptempo “Free As A Dove” is wonderfully melodic and has a contemplative instrumental break with a great, harmonized guitar line, although the good-timey coda does go a bit overboard; “You’ll Make It Through” is uplifting; “I Only Want To Love You” is a little sappy, but still endearing; “Carry On” is breezy and quite catchy; and “Message” is stately and has a dreamy quality, although it suffers from some fairly overwrought lyrics. And that leads to another problem–the onslaught of New Age-style lyrics is overkill, especially considering how corny some of them are, as on the pompous spoken-word piece “The Seed”. He really gets carried away on the largely dull, 6-minute title track, and that really hurts considering the shortness of the main album portion–less than 32 minutes. “The Promise” is an album that really feels like a frustrating missed opportunity.

Tracklist

1.  Free As A Dove – 4:10
2.  You’ll Make It Through  (Mike Pinder, Jim Dillon) – 3:52
3.  I Only Want To Love You – 3:25
4.  Someone To Believe In – 3:09
1.  Carry On – 4:16
2.  Air – 2:20
3.  Message – 2:46
4.  The Seed – 1:25
5.  The Promise – 6:02

All tracks composed by Mike Pinder except where noted

Companies, etc.

Credits

Personnel

Notes
Release Date: 1976
The album was recorded in Pinder’s studio at Malibu, Indigo Ranch.
Duration: 40:30
Genre: Pop/Rock

Label – Threshold Records

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