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

THE LAST BRIGHT LIGHT

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

4.01 | 168 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

johnobvious
2 stars Being a devout Magenta follower, I decided to check out an MA album to see if they were my cup of tea. I waited quite some time before finally going for it as this band seems to have more detractors than most. So I went for the highest rated album here on the site, The Last Bright Light. I had seen elsewhere that others also thought this was their strongest album. If that is true, then I can only imagine how lame the rest of their output is.

The first big problem is Bryan Josh's vocals. He has one of the best female vocalists in the game right now and he decides to do the bulk of the singing. And his singing is poor. He tries to sound like David Gilmour but there is no strength and it sounds as if he is struggling to stay in tune pretty much throughout. Pretty annoying.

The first 7 songs are all forgettable. The title track picks things up a bit but Findlay only shows up to do backup vocals. She sings lead on tracks 4, 6, 9 and 10. Track 4 is a slow, short, weak track with no drums. Track 6 is a little better but still poor. Track 9 is a hard rocking number; not very proggy and it sticks out like a sore thumb within the context but is not bad, featuring nice keyboard and guitar solos. Track 10, Shrinking Violet, is 8 and a half minutes of fairly boring stuff, though you finally get to hear Findlay do what she does best within the context of a prog song. I rarely complain about songs being too long, but this could have been pruned back. One other note about Findlay-she is credited with playing tambourine and bells ("so she wasn't totally wasted" he said facetiously). Helms Deep is a decent instrumental. The longest song and last is Mother Nature, which is 12 minutes long. It takes almost 4 of those to get into gear. It is a good song after that (they do a nice job creating a "storm" during the fast-paced middle part of the song), but Josh keeps singing the same refrain over and over in the beginning. "Sometimes she cries out for love." He must sing the word "sometimes" 100 times in the song.

People often refer to Celtic influences like they are a good thing. They are very prevalent here and are not really a good thing to these ears. The drums add nothing to the mix. They are straight forward and there just because they have to be. There is a lot of acoustic guitar on the album. Acoustic guitar can be a dangerous thing to get heavily into. It has to be done very well or it really adds nothing or even detracts. Steven Wilson understands this as well as many others. Here it just does not add that something extra that you need out of it. I will say that keyboard player Iain Jennings does add some nice parts to many of the songs. I feel a two star rating is fair. I know MA has many ardent followers but I will not be joining them. The album is not horrible but has many weaknesses that keep me from reaching for it often. And I can't see buying more of their output.

johnobvious | 2/5 |

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