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Heather Findlay - The Phoenix Suite CD (album) cover

THE PHOENIX SUITE

Heather Findlay

 

Crossover Prog

3.28 | 14 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars I love this woman....other than having been the lead vocalist of Mostly Autumn, other than being one of the most beautiful voices around and having been one of the main characters in Ayreon's The Human Equation, she demonstrates her ability in songwriting. Before leaving MA she attempted to reform her old duo with Angela Goldthorpe and the two released an album as "Odin Dragonfly".

On this debut EP, Heather is author of all the songs and while you can still hear a bit of Mostly Autumn in her voice but also in the songs, they are more rock than usual. I think the reason is in the absence of Bryan Josh, so that she hadn't to stick on a specific guitar standard and had more freedom in the arrangements. I like how Josh plays guitar, but I'm quite happy that he's not involved in THIS project.

"Red Dust" is a piece of hard rock mitigated by the sweetness of Heather's voice. I disagree with who says that it's very different from MA. Even them have songs, or portions of songs of this so hard kind.

"Phoenix" is even closer to what a MA fan would expect. I think this song may stay in Heart Full of Sky. Of course the guitar is clean and a bit untuned and there are few or no keyboards, so that this song has a real "rock" mood, but the melodic line is still of the familiar kind.

"Cellophane" is the first song different enough from MA. This song makes me think to Melissa auf der Maur. Was only the guitar a bit more distorted.

"Seven" is another song far enough from Mostly Autumn's standards but I don't think that MA fans would be disappointed. The overdubbed choir (at least I think it's overdubbed) is very good. I think Heather overdubbed is surely better than Josh singing. The song hasn't a fast tempo and without keyboards it may sound a bit flat, but at the same time guitar and drums makes it sound hard rock. The guitar is so distorted that 25 years ago we would have probably defined it as Metal.

The reverb on the guitar of "Mona Lisa" gives the song a touch of late 70s/early80s psychedelia. I remember some 80s new wave bands using this kind of sounds. An unusually dark song.

It's just a debut EP, still non-essential but very promising. Let's look forward for her first full length album to see if the rock side of Heather persists or this is just a one shot deviation from the folky standards.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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