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Mostly Autumn - For All We Shared CD (album) cover

FOR ALL WE SHARED

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.51 | 95 ratings

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chessman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This, the debut album from Mostly Autumn, sets a style that was to be persued successfully on their next two albums. A strong mix of folk and rock, with, on this album especially, some nice doses of violin. The opener, 'Nowhere To Hide' is good, yet maybe my least favourite track. It has nice subtle guitar work from Bryan Josh, but the song is a little repetitive and drags on a little too long. However, the second track, 'Porcupine Rain' more than makes up for that. It has a nice flow to it with a good melody and strong harmonies. If anything, this track is too short. Track three is maybe my favourite track. 'The Last Climb' is an epic, with a sombre but beautiful melody, followed by some excellent violin from Bob Faulds. This is followed in turn by a lovely guitar solo from Josh. Wonderful stuff! 'Heroes Never Die' will probably be many fans' favourite song here. Again, like many MA songs, the lyrics are personal. (Something Josh, Findley and Jennings are all good at is writing!) This track has a tremendous guitar solo to finish. It has been commented on that this solo is somewhat reminiscent of Steve Hackett's classic one on the track 'Everyday'. I personally don't see much connection, maybe a little. I have always thought, and said, that I think Steve Rothery is more the guitarist who comes to mind when listening to Josh. 'Folklore' is one of the folkier efforts here; an instrumental with nice electric violin again prominent. 'Boundless Ocean' is decent. Not outstanding but what I would call a 'compact, competent' song. Nothing much happens in it, but I do enjoy the way towards the end the song changes, and Jennings' keyboards come to the fore. A song that seems to come and fade out unremarkably. 'Shennanigans' is another folky instrumental tune. Well played, it will have some listeners jigging round the living room I suspect. The sort of music enjoyed by a wide range of people, including old ladies! 'Steal Away' is, remarkably, the only track on the album that Heather Findley sings lead on. And naturally it is a very good piece, something along the lines of 'Pieces Of Love' off 'The Spirit Of Autumn Past' album. Very atmospheric it is gentle and dreamy. 'Out Of The Inn' is the third folky track. This starts off with a short excert from the BBC radio production of 'The Lord Of The Rings' from a good few years past. I had the whole prodcution of this on a box set of tapes I bought. I lent them to a friend, and never got them back! The excert finds Frodo (played by Ian Holm, who funnily enough played Bilbo in the films) reciting a funny poem in the inn, urged on by his friends and a friendly crowd. Then the track proper starts. Another jolly romp it is too, lively and danceable. (But don't hold that against it!) Finally comes the longest track, and the one that is vying with 'The Last Climb' for my favourite - 'The Night Sky'. Again, it has a decent, if shortish melody, but this is only the prelude for the wonderful instrumental ending that finishes the album. Again, some strong violin leads to a stunning guitar solo from Josh. It really is an epic way to end. The one drawback on this album is the fact that Josh sings lead on all the vocal tracks except the one mentioned above, 'Steal Away'. And, as he admits himself, he is no great singer. I think he has improved over the years, but on this album it seems to be a strain for him at times. Nevetheless, a great album, a four star album, and one that all MA fans should get immediately.
chessman | 4/5 |

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