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Mostly Autumn - Glass Shadows CD (album) cover

GLASS SHADOWS

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.41 | 86 ratings

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Nightfly
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Glass Shadows sees Mostly Autumn taking a few steps back to a sound more in keeping with earlier releases than the more bombastic approach of the last couple of albums. A step back it may be but no doubt welcome by many early fans of the band who preferred the more mellow folk sound of the past. The band seems to becoming more streamlined with mainman Bryan Josh handling all the guitars and most of the keyboards as well as some vocals. Apart from him on the instrumentation side there is now only Andy Smith and Henry Bourne on bass and drums respectively. Of course Heather Findlay still supplies her lovely vocals aided by Olivia Sparnenn and Anne-Marie Helder with some excellent backing vocals. Helder also supplies the occasional flute.

This is an album that takes a few listens to get under your skin. First play I was left a little under whelmed but repeated listening reveals an album full of strong yet subtle melodies. As I have always thought with Mostly Autumn, the songs are best when sung by Findlay who has a far superior voice to the deadpan Josh who admittedly has improved on recent albums but still lacks the vocal prowess to convincingly handle a strong melody.

Best tracks include opener Fireside with a unison Findlay/Josh vocal and after an acoustic intro turns out to be one of the heavier moments on the album with an excellent Josh guitar riff. Flowers for Guns is lovely; an acoustic piece where Findlay's lead vocals are strongly augmented by some wonderful well placed backing vocals.

Unoriginal Sin is also a strong track which starts piano dominated with another excellent vocal performance from Findlay with a slow build to end. Tearing at the Faerytale is Josh's best vocal performance here and probably on any album for that matter. It's a mini epic gradually building into a more bombastic piece and also features one of Josh's searing guitar solos who is a fine usually understated player which is to the benefit of the music.

A little disappointing is title track Glass Shadows which is the longest track on the album. It's a dark brooding piece which plods along at a slow tempo and is a little one dimensional. It does pick up pace just beyond the midway mark but has little of substance to keep the listener interested. A shame considering it takes up 11 minutes.

Far better is Until the Story Ends, another acoustic piece with a unison Findlay/Josh vocal; Josh's vocals always work better with the support of Findlay. Closing track A Different Sky is another mainly acoustic track and a light and upbeat way to end.

So not the best Mostly Autumn album, a bit of a surprising U turn musically but a welcome adition to their collection. 3 1/2 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |

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