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Mostly Autumn - Passengers CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

3.71 | 145 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars 'Passengers' is the first album that I have heard since they left Cyclops, and I was intrigued to see how they had changed in the intervening time. Anyone who has reads the music press cannot have failed to see all of the adverts proclaiming the as the new Pink Floyd, but that didn't really fit with my memory of the band. I recall them being much more folky than that and prior to putting this on I read the credits. Sure, each member of the band (there are seven of them) all play 'normal' rock instruments. But hang on, what is a bodhran doing there? Then I checked the guests and found that only was there a guest cellist but also Troy Donockley was involved (low whistles, penny whistles, uileann pipes and bouzouki) as was Fairport's very own Chris Leslie on violin. Sounds a bit more folk than rock to me, and when I saw that Damian Wilson (Rick Wakeman, Threshold, Landmarq etc) was providing backing vocals I was even more impressed. But what does it sound like?

"Something In Between" has a piano introduction, then Bryan Josh and Heather Findlay lead the band in an almost Fleetwood Mac style number. Their voices work well together, and there is a real feeling of restraint as the shadows darken and the menace increases- this isn't Floyd, but a very different beast altogether. "Pure White Light" is next up, and a solo riffing guitar doesn't give an indication of what is to follow. The first verse has Bryan almost growling the vocals, with just a drum beat to accompany the guitar - but when it comes to the bridge the Floyd comparisons all start to make sense, as for a few bars the listener has been transported back thirty-five years, then just as suddenly the bright and breezy chorus sweeps away all the has gone before. I defy any proghead to play the first two songs on this album and then not want to play the rest - this is a great start and the quality doesn't let up from here on in.

Heather seems to have a more prominent role than I remember, but her voice works extremely well both solo and with Bryan's or Angela's, giving the band a strong 'focal' point. The music has great depth, and the band are equally adept playing music with a folk root or prog, even rock. For the introduction to the title number, it is just Heather and a piano with an acoustic guitar. As the song progresses it gets more and more powerful, but yet again not going over the top but building into something special.

It may have been a long time since I last heard Mostly Autumn but I am extremely glad that I have renewed my acquaintance - just superb.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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