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

THE LAST BRIGHT LIGHT

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.95 | 246 ratings

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VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 541

"The Last Bright Light" is the third studio album of Mostly Autumn and was released in 2001. This is their first album to feature drummer Jonathan Blackmore and bassist Andy Smith. It's also the only Mostly Autumn album where Angela Goldthorpe has a writing credit song. So, the line up on the album is Bryan Josh (lead and backing vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic and 12 string guitars), Heather Findlay (lead and backing vocals, bodhran, tambourine and bells), Iain Jennings (backing vocals, Hammond organ, synthesizers and keyboards), Liam Davison (lead vocals, acoustic, slide and 12 string guitars), Angela Goldthorpe (backing vocals, flute and recorders), Andy Smith (bass guitars) and Jonathan Blackmore (drums). It has also the participation of Troy Donockley (low whistles), Albert Dannenmann (backing vocals, recorders, crumhorn, rauschpfeife, hummelden and gaita), Marissa Claughan (cello) and Mark Atkinson, Janine Atkinson, Graham Hodge, Nicole Smith and Tabitha Buck (backing vocals), all as guest musicians.

"The Last Bright Light" has thirteen tracks. The first track "?Just Moving On" written by Josh is a very short track and an original and interesting way to open the album, a kind of a short reprise of the end of their previous album "The Spirit Of Autumn Past". The second track "We Come And We Go" written by Josh is a soft and powerful acoustic and mellow ballad so characteristic of Mostly Autumn. It's an extremely beautiful song with a catchy melody, with reach and perfect vocal harmonies and a fine guitar work. The third track "Half The Mountain" written by Josh is another true extremely beautiful song. This is another brilliant song with some beautiful instrumental passages, great guitar work and powerful vocal parts. It's a very touching song where once more Josh writes about the death of his father what had happened on the band's debut album "For All We Shared", whom that album was dedicated. The fourth track "The Eyes Of The Forest" written by Josh and Findlay is a pastoral song very sweet and delicate with the wonderful and beautiful voice of Heather very well backed by the flute of Angela. The fifth track "The Dark Before The Dawn" written by Josh, Jennings and Faulds is another great track of the album. It's a different song with a dark atmosphere and an impressive musical ambient that changes from the rock to the folk and from the dark to the light. The voice of Bryan Josh reminds me the voice of Steve Hackett in the dark parts. The sixth track "Hollow" written by Jennings makes a good contrast with the previous song. Once again we have the clear and beautiful voice of Heather in a beautiful ballad that begins as a quiet piece of music, but that grows on a crescendo and with a great guitar work added to it. The seventh track "Prints In The Stone" written by Josh and Davison is a very sweet and nice short song, made in the style of Strawbs and with a little touch of Pink Floyd. The eighth track is the title track "The last Bright Light" and was written by Josh. This is clearly a song written in a true Pink Floyd's style. This is another brilliant and fantastic track full of a great and dense musical atmosphere especially provided by the choral work and with multi musical passages. The ninth track "Never The Rainbow" written by Findlay and Jennings is a great faster rock song with a nice, and memorable catchy tune, nicely sung by Heather and with a magnificent guitar work by Josh. The tenth track "Shrinking Violet" written by Josh and Findlay is a wonderful and beautiful ballad once more superiorly sung by Heather and with a fantastic choral work on the back and a superb guitar performance by Josh. The eleventh track "Helms Deep" written by Josh is a great instrumental track and once more we are in presence of another great track. This time we are in presence of a folk song very well made and with Celtic influences in the same vein of some of the songs written on the two previous albums, which reminds me Genesis mainly due to the keyboard work. The twelfth track "Which Wood?" written by Goldthorpe is a very short and another nice and pleasant folk song to hear with a beautiful flute work. The thirteenth and last track "Mother Nature" written by Josh represents my first contact with Mostly Autumn and is clearly the great masterpiece of the album. This is the lengthiest song on it, is very complex and very progressive with a true unique magnificent work by all band's members. It represents the greatest epic ever of the band and is a must for any progressive lover, indeed.

Conclusion: I've no problem in saying that "The Last Bright Light" is the best studio album from the band and the only masterpiece produced by Mostly Autumn, until now. This is a perfect album without weak points and where finally the group can do a perfect fusion between folk and prog, and where finally Josh gave for the first time to Heather Findlay the necessary freedom to sing as she knows to do so well. "The Last Bright Light" is a brilliant piece of music where its music flows perfectly and wonderfully throughout the whole album. The music of Mostly Autumn is a fantastic mix of styles. The group creates a progressive music focused on the songs and adding to them some elements than make their work very rich musically. In my opinion, it remains as one of the most important and refreshing works of our times.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |

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