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Mostly Autumn - The Last Bright Light CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

3.97 | 223 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars When I saw the very high rates for this album (I mostly do not read review before posting mine, only look at the ratings to see the tendancy) I thought : finally the one I was expecting. Because their first two efforts did not really convinced me.

On this album, there are of course several great songs that I would easily referenced as ones of their all-time best. "We Come And We Go" is one of them. A so typical MA song. Extremely catchy melody and vocal harmonies reaching perfection. This is why I like MA. They deliver sometimes true jewels. But they are too much widespread in their works IMO.

This album goes on very promisingly "Half The Mountain". Beautiful intrumental passage and again, brilliant and powerful vocal part. MA sounds really great while producing such beautiful songs. Somewhat poppy of course but as I have already outlined for their secod album the combination of these harmonies and the grandeur of some musical sections make this band different. The guitar finale is somptous. A highlight. No doubt.

There will be some pastoral tracks like "The Eyes Of The Forest" (which is normal with such a title). Very sweet numbers with a wonderful part from Heather.

We go back to a harder side of MA with "The Dark Before The Dawn". Again, this one has an incredible chorus and a great flute playing in the background. I like this song an awful lot. It flows so nicely that one is surprised when it ends. Those 5'10" seem so short... This is a very powerful track with a good rhythm and a fantastic band as a whole. Superb.

"Hollow" is a good contrast. Quiet piece of music building on crescendo. The background keys are supporting Heather in a great manner. Rather spacey. A great guitar break will add some strenght to this other very good number. So far, this album is by far their best one.

"Prints In The Stone" is a very sweet and nice little song, but it will start a serie of monotonous tracks which was already a weak point of their previous records. These songs lower the level of their albums and make them sound a bit flat at times. I must admit though that on this effort there will be no real blunder, just a few average tracks.

I will have partially the same feeling with the title track. I say partially because there are interesting moments in this longer number. The guitar break especially is beautiful. But this is a true strong point MA. Again, it would have gained in interest if shortened by two to three minutes though.

"Never The Rainbow" is a almost a hard-rock track. Brilliant again. Iain Jennings pumping sounds out of his organ as Jon Lord would have done. Really. I am not saying that this track sounds like a Deep Purple one of course, but the similarity in the organ play is rather interesting. The fantastic guitar solo ends this very wild piece of music. Definitely one of my fave here.

It contrats completely with the following number : "Shrinking Violet". The second long number (over eight minutes) is all subtlety. Acoustic and mellow for most of it, the song will kick off at half-time and turn to be a very pleasant one.

"Helms Deep" is a true folk song. Celtic influence as we have also heard a few on their previous efforts. I am not really keen on such songs. The finale is rather rocking and saves this track. Unfortunately, "Which Wood" the next one, is pure folkish as well (no wonder again, with such a title) and we won't have anything to save it. The weakest number of the story so far.

When looking at the lenght of "Mother Nature" one can think, hey ! There is something to do here. Well, it is true that the introductory and mellowish part lasting for about 3'30" will lead into a more catchy section with a great guitar break. Great part really during 2'30". We'll get back to a pure symphonic prog part after a dull and useless section (only 1'30" fortunately). Very aerial and Floydian. So, I have some mixed feeling about this number. Still the good parts top the average ones. It provides a good overview of MA's work in general. We'll even get some psyche moments during the finale.

This album is a very long one (over seventy minutes). I would have far much prefer a standard one in lenght (let's say fifty-five minutes) to keep the level very high. It is true that the band was very prolific in their early days (maybe too prolific).

But as for some other albums from the band, most of the great numbers are listed in the begining of the album while the remaining part is less interesting. IMO, it will also be the case with this one. Some great guitar breaks as I have outlined are definitely raising their music to a higher level.

I had upgraded their previous album to three stars (from a five out of ten rating). I will rate this one three stars as well but downgrading it from a seven out of ten scale because I really can not offer MA a fourth star here. But to be honest, I have to admit that prog-folk is not my favorite genre. Still, I believe that MA perfectly illustrates what prog-folk is all about.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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