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Mostly Autumn - Passengers CD (album) cover

PASSENGERS

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.68 | 110 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars I don't know if the CD that I have bought at the Cheshire Oak, Ellesmere Port(UK), years ago is a different release, but the track list is totally different from the one on PA. It starts with the last notes of Mother Nature, as all the previous MA albums start with the last notes of the preceeding one, and the first song is Caught In A Fold.

Said so, this album represents the point of no-return even though the lineup is the same of the excellent The Last Bright Light. The celtic element is almost disappeared and the band sounds more rock than on the previous albums.

"Caught In A Fold" makes it clear from the beginning. I think that Heather Findlay hasn't liked it too much as it looks like it's not on the right tonality for her voice, but her performance is excellent thanks to her great vocal skill. It's a nice folk-rock song, after all.

"Something In Between" is on similar tones, with the chorus a bit reminding to "The Forge Of Sauron" in the rhythm. It makes me think to early Renaissance. Another good rock song.

"Another Life" is the first song to be not affected by the change of direction. It's a slow ballad started by piano and Violin with another great performance of Heather Findlay and a Gilmourish guitar solo that, as often happens like on "The Gap Is Too Wide", is on a different pitch respect to the rest of the song.

"First Thought" would be very Floydian if it wasn't for Heather's voice which adds that touch of folk. One remarkable thing of this album is that Bryan limits his vocal performances to duets with Heather that's the lead vocalist on almost all the songs.

"Pure White Light" starts with a Josh's excersize to sound like Gilmour on "Run Like Hell" or better on "Blue Light". Not bad but this is one of the weakest tracks, probably because it's one of the few on which Bryan is lead singing with Heather as backing vocals.

"Simple Ways" is a 2 minutes intro to the following song: "Bitterness Burnt" is lead at vocals alternatively by Bryan and Heather and it's stronger that the previous one. It's a slow song in the line of the usual Mostly Autumn. Those two tracks together are one of the best moments of the album.

"Distant Train" has a flok accent thanks to the acoustic guitar that supports Heather's voice. Closer to Renaissance more than to Pink Floyd. The percussions are in charge of heather's Bodhran for the first 1:30 minutes, but also when Blackmore Jr enters with the drums he does it very slightly. A very good song.

"Answer The Question" is the first long song reminding of the past. About 5 very Floydian minutes for Bryan's guitar before the duet between Bryan and Heather reprises "Something In Between". The instrumental coda has the usual structure of tracks like "Mother Nature" or "The Spirit Of Autumn Past".

"Pass The Clock" is the longest track of the album. Piano and violin to support the duet, then it goes uptime. The melody is strong. I have tried to imagine Roger Waters singing instead of Josh. Except for the chorus that's too folk he should fit well. There's room for Angela's flute, I think it's the first time in this album. A Thunder closes the uptime section and we are back to piano and acoutic guitar. The parts are too disconnected.It's the same defect of Marillion's "Grendel". Playing three-four songs together and gapless doesn't mean writing an epic. The different sections are more than four. At minute 10 we have the first remarkable celtic moment, just a clue. A good track anyway.

The album is closed by the dreamy title track. A great closer on which also Angela's voice is in evidence.

Even if this album is not at the same level of its predecessor and also considering the change in the musical direction it's an excellent album, maybe more neo-prog than prog- folk, but surely deserving to stay in each collection. Only the hard fans of the first MA "celtic" period could be a little disappointed.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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