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Mostly Autumn - Passengers CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

3.71 | 145 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The 11th masterpiece!

I had the review of this album pretty well written before I even heard it. I had read the reviews on this site and was planning something like "classic rock society filthy lucre ruins amzing Celtic folk prog band". It was clear that this was the runt of Mostly Autumn's litter so I delayed buying it, and when I finally did, and put it on the CD player it was with some trepidation. I had heard some of the songs live and they sounded great, but our reviewers don't lie, do they? I figured that the rest of the tracks must be throwaway rubbish.

One hour later, I pressed the replay button convinced that this was one of the best albums ever. Not a weak track; lovely melodies, great vocal work from Heather Findlay (and even, on occasions, Bryan Josh!), lush keyboards, trademark lead solos and driving rhythms. Highlights are Bitterness Burnt, Answer the Question, the instrumental Distant Train and the Pass the Clock trilogy. But the surpises, and the best tracks, are two that I'd never heard anywhere: The Simple Ways, with its haunting lyrics and keyboard soaked outro, and First Thought. Sure there are hints of other bands styles; the comparison to Pink Floyd won't die, even though it's extremely tenuous and based on influence and guitar style rather than song style, and there are hints of Fleetwood Mac in the opener (but I love FM anyway, so that's great). But Mostly Autumn are actually quite unlike any other band in their blend of styles. The folk/Celtic influences are still very much there, with uillean pipes and violin in Pass the Clock part 2. If there's a criticism at all, it's that Angela Goldthorpe's flute is a bit underused; when it comes into play, it shines.

All of which poses me a dilemma. When I joined this site I determined that I would not rate every album I liked 5 stars but would discriminate rigidly and allocate only 10 masterpieces, all of which I had identified. But this was before I heard this, and this is unquestionably a masterpiece by any standard. So an exception must be made. Far from the runt, this may well be the pick of the litter.

Hercules | 5/5 |


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