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

THE LAST BRIGHT LIGHT

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

4.00 | 169 ratings

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Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Vocals are a very touchy aspect of music. One might even say it's the most touchy. I would really appreciate it if vocals would keep to themselves a little bit; I don't like to be touched often.

Mostly Autumn are a talented group who play Pink Floyd folk. The sound and atmospheres are all very good, and they also have Heather Findlay on board as a vocalist. I, like many, discovered Mostly Autumn through hearing Heather's gorgeous gift on The Human Equation and after hearing some samples of Mostly Autumn's songs, I felt compelled to check this album out (as it is widely regarded as their best). When I heard the samples, I noticed that there was a male vocalist present as well, but given his great inferiority to Heather's angelic voice, I figured she would be the focal point of the sung parts of the disc. I was wrong. Male vocalist Bryan Josh who admittedly can not sing is actually the dominant vocalist on this record. While he produces discernable melodies with considerable emotion, more often than not he detracts from the generally good music.

But the music has its faults too. The disc is much too long. Since the styles aren't that varied and as it doesn't have much of a direction as a whole there is no way it can be enjoyed for its full 71 minutes. Unfortunately, when they do stray from their downtempo, atmospheric sound they aren't always successful as seen in the uptempo rocker "Never the Rainbow," which doesn't seem like a proper application of Heather's voice and it's not even that catchy. However, two songs later they break into a peppy folk instrumental, "Helm's Deep," that works very well and is thoroughly enjoyable for its duration. It's followed by another instrumental which is a bit shorter and also enjoyable. I'm a bit perplexed at the group's decision to have two consecutive instrumentals. It may have been beneficial to place "Which Wood?" earlier in the disc to break up the meter montony of the first half.

The band shines on the numbers where Heather dominates the vocal parts and the compositions are dynamic. The highlights are the stunning and beautiful tracks "Hollow" & "Shrinking Violet" (both of which start soft and build to climaxes with Heather leading the way), the aforementioned instrumental "Helm's Deep" and the magnificent 12-minute closer "Mother Nature," one of few tracks where Bryan's presence doesn't hinder the listener's enjoyment of the song.

It's a shame that the band hasn't delegated the vocal parts properly, or written songs to better cater their greatest strength (not to belittle the musicians). In general, the music is good or better - it's atmospheric, melodic, and often powerful - but it's just so tough to sit through the whole album for the two reasons which I have explained above. Everyone should try this band out, because certainly some people are going to be able to enjoy or look past my negative points and there is quite a bit to like beyond them.

Moatilliatta | 2/5 |

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