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Mostly Autumn - Storms Over Still Water CD (album) cover

STORMS OVER STILL WATER

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.52 | 106 ratings

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FragileKings
3 stars Mostly Autumn seemed like a band that would be worth checking out after I read some of the reviews on PA. I listened to samples of their music on iTunes and YouTube, and my conclusion was that their folk music beginnings might not be quite up my alley but also their most recent work might be too pop oriented. "The Last Bright Light" was the album I really wanted but it was only available as an expensive import. I had to decide between "Passengers" and "Storms Over Still Water" and settled on the latter.

After the first few tracks, I felt I was listening to Pink Floyd meets Figgy Duff (a folk rock band from Newfoundland that was active in the 80's and 90's) with a mix of Kim Hill (a female Christian singer/songwriter whose style is non-aggressive rock with a tinge of country). Heather Findlay's vocals give the band their Kim Hill rock sound, Bryan Josh provides the David Gilmour/Pink Floyd sound, and the folk beginnings which are still apparent here to a degree add the Figgy Duff sound. It's an interesting concoction to be sure.

The first half of the album is comprised of shorter songs that are more mainstream oriented. There's some good rock guitar that borders on hard rock at times, some nice synthesizer and piano as on "Ghost in Dreamland", and I like the lyrics to "The End of the World", which have Heather describing an elderly couple's simple and sweet relationship and Josh singing about what I think is the moon smashing into southern England and the wave of destruction reaching the couple. I would, however, like to point out that if the moon did indeed collide with the earth, the pull of gravity would upset the crust of the earth and engulf the focal area in magma before the lunar face ever kissed the earth. But interesting song nonetheless.

"Coming To" is a short instrumental that takes us into the second half of the album that features three longer songs and it seems we are out of the mainstream and into prog land. "Candle in the Sky" has a very strong Pink Floyd sound at first and half the song is a slow guitar solo in the flavour of Mr. Gilmour. "Carpe Diem" begins with some beautiful piano and ullian pipes and low whistle. The first half is really enjoyable but the song then spends the second half playing out a slow-paced musical theme on piano, pipes, and Heather's vocalese that I personally feel drags on for a little too long.

My favourite of the longer songs is the title track. The song is also in two parts, the first part sung by Heather and is acoustic and moody, very pretty. The second part has Josh take over and though still slow and beautiful, it takes on a bit more of a rock edge, once again reminding me of post-Waters Pink Floyd. For my money, this is the song where the band really nailed it and it's the most played track off the album in my earbuds.

"Tomorrow" is a nice closing instrumental with a simple but powerful melody. It repeats until it fades out.

This album has it's moments and at times I really can enjoy listening to some of the songs. But I felt it was not as progressive as I had imagined and more commercial rock, especially in the first half. I was looking forward to a bit more of a folk feel to it as I imagine "The Last Bright Light" is like. I'd like to get at least one more album by Mostly Autumn but the ones that are easy to procure are even more pop-ish and the older albums are all rare, out-of- print, and expensive. There is of course the "Pass the Clock" compendium of MA's career but I worry about buying a 3-CD set where I might like only one CD's worth of songs.

"Storms" is a good album that will be a treasure for some. I think it's mostly just OK.

FragileKings | 3/5 |

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