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

FOR ALL WE SHARED

Mostly Autumn

Prog Folk


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webmaster@voi
5 stars One of the most beautiful albums I ever listened to! With this and the following two albums Mostly Autumn became one of my favourite bands. Especially the longtracks with their extensive instrumental passages (e.g. Heroes Never Die and The Night Sky) are masterpieces.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#4905)
Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2003 | Review Permalink
Greger
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is the debut album from UK band MOSTLY AUTUMN. They are playing rock mixed with reminiscences to Celtic music, FAIRPORT COVENTION, FLEETWOOD MAC, GENESIS, JETHRO TULL, PINK FLOYD and STEELEYE SPAN. This is a very strong debut album with a lot of power, great melodies and good musicianship from this 8-man band. They are using various untraditional instruments such as Djembe, flute, tambourine, violin and whistles together with traditional rock instruments. The highlights are the opening progressive track "Nowhere To Hide", the two beautiful Celtic folk rock tracks "Folklore" and "Shenanigans", the Irish influenced "Out Of The Inn" and the closing 10-minute "The Night Sky". A magnificent release from MOSTLY AUTUMN on the Cyclops label. A really interesting and highly recommended album!

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Send comments to Greger (BETA) | Report this review (#4907)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I started listening again this album, which I purchased in 1999 from Cyclops, after I listened to AYREON "The Human Equation". HEATHER FINDLAY of Mostly Autumn appeared as guest vocal, played her wonderful role as "Love". What an excellent performance she did, for example in DAY THREE: PAIN. Love: "I can't accept this, we will find a way / Out of this cesspool of doom and dismay / Beyond this dejection there's beauty and grace / A glorious future we long to embrace". I like her singing style and voice. So I grabbed this album of Mostly Autumn. I think in this debut album she doesn't play a role as lead vocals for all tracks.

This album is heavily influenced by PINK FLOYD, STEVE HACKETT and FOCUS. However, Mostly Autumn's music is different - it's more on folk-based music with some ambient, psychedelic and symphonic flavors. If we typically listen to soft keyboard sound with PINK FLOYD, the band chooses to use violin instead without losing the intended output. Their music is overall accessible to most listeners. It has a relatively minimum high and low points and or it's relatively flat, minimum or even no tempo change.

The album starts with a medium tempo track "Nowhere To Hide (Close my Eyes)" with a pop touch. The track starts with a sort of a-capella followed by guitar fills in the vein of Hackett. It then flows smoothly in a rhythm based music with medium tempo and relatively flat in terms of variety of melody. The rhythm section behind vocal line is dominated by acoustic guitar with some accentuation of keyboard sounds. There is a nice transition between vocal line in the middle of the track with stunning keyboard sound performed in relatively short period.

"Porcupine Rain" opens with a spacey music with repeated guitar fills which luckily is not long enough before we really get bored. The music flows smoothly in the same vein of first track. The band tries to demonstrate the symphonic nature of this track thru the use of keyboard that is played softly at the background. It's an enjoyable track. Again, it's relatively flat; minimum high and low points.

The third track "The Last Climb" starts with bird sounds (as we are in the middle of the a jungke) and exploration of guitar and keyboard (softly played). When the vocal line enters the music, it reminds me to FOCUS singing style. However, when the music enters its body, it creates a psychedelic nuances with an intense FLOYDIAN style. The interlude with violin solo is really great and it is followed by guitar work in the veiv of GILMOUR but bit softer. For those of you who like Floydian sort of musical piece, I guarantee you would definitely enjoy this track. It's COOL man.

The fourth track "Heroes Never Die" starts with a soft music intro similar (even almost the same) with the opening part of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" but it's softer. The vocal line then enters the opening part before drumming. Structurally, it's different with "Shine On ." where the vocal line enters after drumming. Nothing special in terms of melody as it's so flat but we can easily notice the influence of FLOYD in this track. What surprises me, really, at the ending part of this track; it's very similar with the ending part of STEVE HACKETT song "Everyday" from "Spectral Morning" album. The guitar work sometimes indicate the influence of GILMOUR, but overall structure of ending part is really the same with "Everyday". Is it accidentally? Oh man . it's almost the same!

Next track "Folklore" is a traditional track of highlanders. It's dominated with violin / cellos sound. What's interesting is the intro part with a soft violin sound before it enters the "happy" part of the song. It's really a happy song that reminds me to a dance party in Scotland. The other part is on short solo drumming in the middle and followed by a musical segment that serves as an interlude because it's no longer in traditional mode. The interlude ends with another solo drumming before it returns to traditional melody.

The sixth track "Boundless Ocean" starts with an acoustic guitar rhythm with woodwind instrument. Very nice opening. It flows in a rather poppy style with acoustic guitar as main rhythm while keyboard is played to accentuate the bars. Woodwind is also used to enrich the melody. The interlude part in the middle is filled with woodwind and violin. It's an excellent interlude. While listening to this track, you may associate yourself in a long journey exploring the ocean in a boundary-less world. I think KENICHI OHMAE (Japanese globalization guru) should listen to this track; cause it may help him to create another excellent book on globalization.

Again, track 7 "Shenanigans" is another traditional music with an excellent work on violin instrument by Bob Faulds. It's composed in a relatively fast tempo with dynamic drumming to support violin in creating happy mood. It's a good track.

If other tracks were dominated by male voice, the eighth track "Steal Away" is performed by the band's beautiful looking singer HEATHER FINDLAY. It's a mellow track with an excellent melody. Honestly, the voice quality of FINDLAY in this track is below what she performed as "Love" in "The Human Equation" album of AYREON. It might be this song requires softer voice or it's a but for sure, for me, her voice is less powerful.

Track 9 "Out Of The Inn" opening part is a dialogue talk that reminds me to JETHRO TULL. It is then followed by a woodwind solo backed with acoustic guitar rhythm and percussion in a traditional music vein. It continues with solo violin. The music flows to upbeat track in a rocking mode when the drumming opens the gate for it; followed by a stunning electric guitar melody. It's nice. I do enjoy this track; it's uplifting.

The concluding track "The Night Sky" is probably the epic track as this is the longest track this album has. For those of you who love PINK FLOYD, this track is for you. It starts with a mellow part with great male voices and some backing of female voice. It flows nicely with great transition piece exploring violin sound. The violin solo backed up with an atmospheric nuance is really excellent. It is then continued with a lead electric guitar in the vein of Gilmour (definitely!). I'm sure you will enjoy this part, it's so stunning.

Overall, I would rate this album with a three star (good but not essential) rating out of five. I enjoy the music very much. The fact that there is a close similarity and proximity (melody, structure and nuance) as I mention above with previous band (especially with Steve Hackett's "Everyday") has reserved me to give a four rating. But I believe that this is a good album for the band to move forward. For me personally, I would still buy the next albums of the band. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#4909)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars Wow!

What a showcase for the modern Prog renaissance, combining the rich Celtic tradition with the grandeur of classic Symph-Prog (in this case a strong Floyd influence) ! These Brits have unleashed an alltogether stirring , very personal and original debut album. In looking back, I feel that their output has slightly decreased in quality, in the hopes of trying to break the commercial market, as opposed to elevating this magnificent opus to even loftier heights. Their unity and musical kinship is best described with this first effort from leader and guitarist extraordinaire Bryan Josh. Melancholic pieces drenched in a very evident"autumnal" spirit, the virtual smell of dead leaves crunching underfoot, the cool fall breeze signaling winter's ouverture and the aromas of reddening forests , with mist- shrouded moors are singed within the grooves of this rich musical tapestry, woven into the very fabric of the arrangements. The songs are keyboard rich exaltations generally seared by the sizzle of Josh's electrifying guitar runs , with a serious wink to the technique of David Gilmour. Regardless of all the alleged Floyd influences, this is no clone band. Mostly Autumn is a more diverse, highly musically challenged prog band, incorporating steady doses of Irish style folk, where violin (fiddle, rather), flutes, pipes and other Erin Island traditional instruments are put to good use and spice up the stew. The fiddler duels with the e-guitar in a vortex of sound , spiralling towards the heavens. The final piece, "The Night Sky" is a classic slab of Waters-tinged melodrama, that slowly builds a framework of mood and atmosphere, with initial restraint holding back the impending onslaught to finally succumb to an orgasmic explosion of sonic pleasure, led first by a dizzying violin showcase and then, a guitar ride where Josh reaches for the stratosphere, wailing his soul away and focused on touching the stars of "the Night Sky". One Word: Sublime!

4 Night Skies

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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#4910)
Posted Saturday, March 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
4 stars I'm starting to pick fruit of reading these Archives. A month earlier I had never heard of Mostly Autumn. Now I managed to borrow this (a debut? WOW!) and after the first listening bought Story So Far to which I'll come later. The description 'Celtic Pink Floyd' is quite true. Moody, long guitar solos finish the beautiful and autumnal sound. The only let- down to me was that I thought Heather Findlay would be the main singer, but she's mostly in the background, sadly! This band is like an answer to my dreams of a neo-prog band far from the likes of IQ or Pendragon (not to mention several metal 'proggers' I hate), with ingredients seldom heard - folk music. A very crafted big group of musicians, violin and flute included. It almost makes me suspicious how this music hit me - will it wear out in time? I hope not. There are some moments in this album I find a bit dull, e.g. an excerpt from BBC's The Lord of the Rings in the beginning of 'Out of the Inn', and instrumental 'Folklore' could end sooner. All in all, lovely music, great band.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#4911)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the CD that started it all. For Mostly Autumn's career and for me listening to Mostly Autumn. "For All We Shared" is a phenominal debut, not just for some band, but for a progressive band and/or a prog folk group.

There are varius edge's to this band. They have that wonderful Celtic sound (Tracks 5, 7, 9), which I had not enjoyed until I came around to this CD, and they have that Floyd- guitar (Tracks 1-4) thing going on for them as well, and they also have had multiple singers on this CD (male and female) as well as most of their others CD's making this band rare and unique. Ask yourself how many times can you listen to "Animals" and "Meddle" by Pink Floyd, then start listening to Mostly Autumn. I wish more people knew about this group, as they are such a gem in this age of bland musicians, excluding a number of them, no doubt. "Heroes Never Die" must be one of their best songs in my opinion (Download it on this page immediately, for your own good), but there are a number of other excellent songs on this CD.

Not many musicians grow on me such as Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Rush, and Dream Theater have, but Mostly Autumn is slowly becoming a favorite of mine, and not only "For All We Shared," CD after CD they astonish me, showing us all a new side to them. Though they are no longer Pink Floydish now in the Post-2000 era, they constantly out-do themselves with growing talents and a growing fanbase with a strikingly good debut.

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Send comments to The Ryan (BETA) | Report this review (#36627)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I have to say that I'm dissapointed with this album. Mostly Autumn is a band that I was long time desiring to hear, and a few weeks I bought their debut album... But I didn't find nothing special here... Some songs are like a mixture of Marillion/Pink Floyd (Heroes Never Die, The Night Sky...) and some others (Folklore, Boundless Ocean...) sound me like almost a copy of the fantastic celtic rock Celtas Cortos, from Spain, but very much worse, without the instrument virtuosity and without the great composition of the spainish group. The main difference is that Celtas Cortos made at the 80's end very much better than this band in 1998... I like the originality, something that this band lacks. The musicians aren't band, but I have to say that Bryan Josh he is simply a bad singer, he sounds like a bad copy of Steve Hogarth. Heather Findlay she isn't bad, but some duets with Brian doesn't sound very good... Maybe songs like Heroes Never Die, Boundless Ocean and The Night Sky worth the listening, but the whole disc it's nothing special... Only for completionists in my opinion. If you like folk rock, I'd suggest you to listen Celtas Cortos. They are the best!!! And I think that Mostly Autumn they have heard them very closely before making this album...

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#44385)
Posted Friday, August 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Kotro
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars My fourth Mostly Autumn experience. The production was rudimental, Bryan Josh can't sing and hardly leaves space for Heather to do it for him, and some of the words are just plain silly and laughable. The thing is, this album has probably more instrumental time than singin time. That means that despite the vocals, you're in for a treat. Despite it's flaws, this is an amazing debut, and a fantastic work. Originallity isn't a word I would use to describe it. It is heavily influenced by Floyd, Hackett, and Jethro Tull. But it's the combining of those inspirations on one album that makes it worth it. Someone mentioned the solo of "Heroes never die" as an almost rip-off of Steve Hackett's "Everyday". I too think it is, but damn, it sounds better than the original. The long tracks are definitly the highlights of this album, in a set where the smaller ones are at least very good. All songs have been fairly described by other reviewrs, so I won't bother to do that. I just wan't to say that this album is a magnificent sonic experience, gathering some of the best prog influences on one disc, fantastically performed by a talented group of musicians. A must-have for any Proghead who is sorry that his favorite bands are no longer in business or sold out to corporate interests.

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Send comments to Kotro (BETA) | Report this review (#47305)
Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
NJprogfan
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Prog folk with a dash of spacey Floydism and neo-proggish Pendragon, the album is a definite mixed bag. The first two tracks have a samey slight Pink Floyd vibe that really doesn't excite me, flat and basic, like the worst from Floyd. You can call them Floyd leftovers. Track three & four, "The Last Climb" and "Heroes Never Die" are flat-out Pendragon with female back-up singing. First time I've ever heard a band ape another band that apes another band! Yet, it's not bad for what it is. I tend to like their forays into traditional folk, like the songs "Folklore", "Shenanigans" and the best song, "Out Of The Inn", fast pace and fun tracks which offset the dragging and plodding bulk of this disc. Other tracks like, "Boundless Ocean" and "Steal Away" are ballad-like and decent, nothing special about them. The last track immerses themselves back into the Pink Floyd/Pendragon fold. Not bad, but again nothing special which pretty much sums up this album for me. Good, but not essential.

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Send comments to NJprogfan (BETA) | Report this review (#75564)
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Mostly Autumn - For All We Shared...,

At first, I must say that this album is very nice. I'm quite unfamiliar with the stages of the band this album being the first one I've listened, but I've been waiting for long to have a chance to listen their work. I'm one of those people who found out about Mostly Autumn from 'The Human Equation'. Heather Findlay sings wonderfully in it, but here I have to say I am disappointed, because the lady sings the lead vocals for just one song. My high expectations for this album lowered, but not much. I borrowed this debut from the library about a week ago and have listened it very much. The music needed no deeper discoveries being very simple, and so I feel one with the album and qualified to review it. The music indeed is quite simple, but that is not a problem in this record. I've still found some problems.

Still, the music of Mostly Autumn is rather interesting. There are a number of pure pop rock tracks in this piece, but some energetic traditional English music can be found too. The album include much of ambient forest noises with birds singing, beautiful, calm tracks with great, emotional vocals, folkish flutes with calm ones too. But sometimes I feel that this album sinks into a musical mess. Like that there is nothing that keep these songs together, nothing that combines the tracks into an album. It's like the whole point of the music falls apart. The songs are good and all, but that's a disturbing factor. I may say it like it is a disaster, which is not true. For me, it is a problem, but it doesn't spoil the album. One other minor thing is that the lead singer Bryan Josh is very average when it comes to singing. He does fine work, but ruins couple of points. For example the first vocals in 'Porcupine Rain'. Despite those, the music of this album is very good.

The first track, 'Nowhere to Hide (Close My Eyes)' is nothing more than a pop rock song with catchy chorus, which is repeated maybe couple of times too much. As an opener, this works in some way. The track is followed by a slight disappointment. 'Porcupine Rain' is musically nothing special, as well as the first track, but they have some qualities that don't make them bad songs. Very strong, emotional singing in the first track and a hypnotizing feeling through the second, but nothing that even reminds of progressive music. These first two tracks represents the pop rock side of Mostly Autumn.

'The Last Climb' begins with the previously mentioned bird singing, perhaps in a forest. Calm track with soft vocals, and beautiful violins, which flows like the time has stopped. Mellow guitar solo limps along to the end of the song. Slow tempo, highly enjoyable track, which is followed by 'Heroes Never Die'. Calm beginning with nice flutes. Very emotional singing by Josh. The phrase "The ways, the ins and outs of heaven still elude us to the end" catches the listeners ears everytime it comes. The song evolves from the calm beginning to a rockier direction, but does that very gently. The guitar solo that strikes out from nowhere lasts until the end of the song. These two tracks represents the little more folkier rock of Mostly Autumn. Both of the songs are long compositions and include a very long guitar solo and share beautiful emotions. Tied together they are fantastic.

'Folklore' is a folk song with traditional English melodies. Very cheerful point in the album. Very energetic track, which brings visions of historical dances. I can imagine a ball in the Middle Ages where this song is played. At least until the point when drums join. This song tries to combine traditional music with modern one. The mixture is a fine one. 'Boundless Ocean' is very beautiful with the flute melodies and the vocals. The song flows with acoustic guitars and soft touch. Beautiful track. The next one, 'Shenanigans' is almost like 'Folklore'. Apparently Faulds has composed this song completely, but this reminds me too much of the earlier 'Folklore'. I still enjoy both of the songs very much. 'Steal Away' is great track, because it include the voice of Heather Findlay. Just kidding of course, but she sings the lead vocals with her soft, tender voice and does great work. 'Out of the Inn' is very folkish rock track. Instrumental track with progressive edge. Funny intro singing though. The final track, 'The Night Sky' is very calm finisher. I think that could be one trademark, this is my first album, but I've listened 'The Gap is Too Wide' and that is the last song in The Spirit of Autumn Past. Beautiful flutes, vocals and violins and good, long guitar solo. 'Folklore', 'Shenanigans' and 'Out of the Inn' represents the folk side of Mostly Autumn. All these songs has a clear rocky tune. 'Boundless Ocean', 'Seal Away' and the final track 'The Night Sky' represents beautiful, melodic side of Mostly Autumn.

All the songs together represents Mostly Autumn. Their music can be described as beautiful, folky pop rock with a slight progressive edge. This debut album is hopefully not their best work. At least the reviewers think that way. This album is very enjoyable, but has flaws. I don't see this as an album very clearly. It is heap of songs in an album. At least I found no combining factor. Still, the songs are good, and together they are Mostly Autumn's 'For All We Shared...'. I can't recommend this album much, but if you like folk rock, this could be good. For me, this album is good, but non-essential. 3/5 stars.

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Send comments to The Squirrel (BETA) | Report this review (#85428)
Posted Tuesday, August 01, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to chessman (BETA) | Report this review (#98299)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Mostly autumn displays an interesting type of music : very nice vocal harmonies (several "lead" singers in the band) combined with soft rock instrumentals. No shouts here. A very peaceful tone is the main characteristic of this band.

The perfect example of this description is the opening number : a very good composition highlighting their skills during these six minutes. It flows gently into "Porcupine Rain". which is also very pleasant. Very harmonious vocal parts : it sounds as Crosby, Stills and Nash in their research of perfection in this exercise. The band providing an excellent background to this track.

"The Last Climb" is a very pastoral number. Very quiet and long instrumental intro (in the style of "How Dare I Be So Beautiful" during "Supper's Ready"). It is a very melancholic song. It feaures a nice violin break and a very good Gilmouresque guitar solo. Mostly Autumn will vow an inmense admiration to the Floyd. Wright will even be the one who will give them the boldness of recording a live album featuring only Floyd songs. "The Last Climb" is one of my fave here.

The best number of this album is "Heroes Never Die". Similar struture as the previous song with a very smooth introduction and crystal clear vocal arrangements. It takes a while to really start but at almost half time, their style picks up nicely, vocals being really performant and so harmonious. You can almost feel the breathe of the master (David) behind the somptuous finale. A highlight, no doubt.

As its title reveals, "Folklore" sounds as a Celtic piece of music. Not truely inspired, it is not at all my cup of tea. The weakest number so far. Sounds at times like a gigue. A certain aspect of the Tull ("The Whistler" from "Songs From The Wood") is not far away here. Same apllies to "Shenanigians" which brings back to the Highlands and the rather Tullesque "Out Of The Inn". But these numbers sound too folkisch for me.

The nice little flavour goes on with "Boundless Ocean" which is another tranquil piece of music. As "Steal Away" and the long closing number "The Night Sky". The melancholic mood prevails again but it is a bit too much. Too monotonous.

This band is of course not the most influent one; they might sound not original enough to some prog lovers, but they will produce some very nice releases (they will be very prolific in their early years, less later on). They will combine some obvious musical similarities with Floyd and as mentioned already the brilliance of Crosby, Stills & Nash in their quest to vocal perfection. I believe it is a rather interesting combination.

Give Mostly Autumn a chance, they deserve it. This album is not their best one. They will produce much better albums. later one.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#119996)
Posted Friday, April 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Heroes never die - they sail forever!

One night a few years ago, I and a group of university colleagues decided on a beer/ walking holiday on the North Yorks Moors just before Christmas. We were settled in the bar of The Lion Inn when some of the most heavenly music I'd ever heard drifted through from the tiny room next door. The barman's palm was crossed with silver and we gained access (probably against all H&S regulations!). This was my first sight of Mostly Autumn doing their legendary annual Christmas party (I wouldn't miss this for all the gold in Fort Knox now).

My first thought was that an angel had been transported from Heaven, so exquisitely did Heather Findlay look and sing and the rest of the band were not far behind in terms of performance. I then bought this, their debut album.

And what an album it is. Sure, there's a few rough edges and some naivity here and there, but the quality of the compositions and the way they are executed shows the enormous potential of this band. The opener starts bizarrely with an excerpt from a rugby song (!) but soon develops into a gentle rocker with a singalong chorus, sung by Bryan Josh with no great tunefulness but plenty of emotion. Porcupine Rain has a very long intro before the vocals come in, sung jointly by Josh and Findlay and is backed by swathes of delicious keyboards. The Last Climb is long, gentle and slow, with a fine violin solo before culminating in one of Josh's long melodic solos. Folklore is a traditional jig, brilliantly executed whilst Boundless Ocean features some lovely whistle and pleasant harmony vocals. Shananigans is back to traditional Celtic folk with a driving rhythm and violin and whistle to the fore. Then the album really takes off with the slow, gentle and utterly exquisite Steal Away, with one of Findlay's finest vocal efforts and a rousing climax where Iain Jennings keyboards for a monster backdrop. Out of the Inn starts with an extract from BBC Radio 4's Lord of the Rings before entering a classical folk piece with whistle and violin, before suddenly changing into an all out folk rock epic with a wonderful, off the wall Josh solo. The Night Sky finishes off the album with a spacy, gentle opening section, again sung by Josh and Findlay in harmony, a middle section with a classic Bob Faulds violin solo and finally ending with another Josh extravaganza, backed all the time by Jennings' atmospheric work. So there it is, a wonderful first attempt and probably one of the best debut albums of all time.

But I've neglected Heroes Never Die. This is the ultimate jewel in the crown, written by Bryan Josh in memory of his father, a keen climber who features in much of their artwork. This is a featured track on the site so you listen for yourself; the emotion and beauty of the lyrics, the wonderful flute and keyboard playing and the sheer brilliance of Josh's climactic solo. Who cares if Josh sings flat at times - it's the emotion that counts.

I desperately want to give this the album the full monty but it isn't quite in my top 10 and they did even better albums later on, so it gets 4 stars. But what an album nevertheless.

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Send comments to Hercules (BETA) | Report this review (#130414)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
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Crossover Team
4 stars Label boss Malcolm Parker and myself know that although we both enjoy progressive rock, we do not always share the same opinion as to what is good and to what is not. It has been a long time since he started telling me that Mostly Autumn were one of the best bands around, but it took me a long time to get any CDs out of him as they were doing so well. So it was with some trepidation that I put their debut album on the player, and upon looking in the booklet noticed that there were eight people in the band! There aren't many bands on Cyclops that boast a violinist and also someone playing low whistles and high whistles.

First up is "Nowhere To Hide (Close My Eyes)", which has an introduction of harmony vocals. This is followed by gentle instrumentation which leads into a rock number which sounds just like latter day Horslips, very definitely a good start. They use mostly twin harmony vocals, although Bryan's voice is more powerful than Heather's. Nevertheless, they are more than just a Celtic rock band. "The Last Climb" is nothing but pure Floyd, from 'Wish You Were Here' era, while "Folklore" shows that Bob Faulds would be quite prepared to have a battle with Ric Sanders. Much of the music is a melting pot, as the band bring together many styles. Malcolm describes them as Celtic Rock meeting Pink Floyd and that is probably as good a description as any, although it doesn't do them justice. What it does mean is that they have managed to capture a sound that is going to appeal to a great many listeners.

Feedback #59, July 2000

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#145893)
Posted Friday, October 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars MOSTLY AUTUMN's debut album immediately establishes the group's 2 main interests: PINK FLOYD and celtic music. They do both quite well, and, although I pefer celtic concoctions to Floydian forays, I must admit they do better with the latter, sometimes considerably besting their idols, while other times they plumb the primordial profundities in a way that makes Floyd seem light as a feather. Ugh.

I am somewhat flummoxed by this unlikely combination, and I think one of the weaknesses of the group at this stage is that the two personalities compete rather than co-exist. Sure, the two best cuts, the anthemic "Nowhere to Hide" and the soaring "Heroes Never Die" portend the future direction of the group to be fully realized on "Clear White Light" with their melodic melange of folk, pop and progressive, the latter channelling STEVE HACKETT, rarely a bad idea. But elsewhere you have the drudgery of "Porcupine Rain" and the rather pedestrian faux traditional sounds of "Folklore" baring the half baked visage of the band's vision. "Boundless Ocean" probably comes closest to an uplifting mix of the downbeat and the sprightly, while "Out of the Inn" is a spirited stab at fiddling with purpose and integrating the trad sounds with lead guitar that still sounds celtic. Unfortunately, the album closes, and closes, and closes, with the moribund "Night Sky".

A noble effort, and dedicated to Bryan Josh's late father, "For All We Shared" is worth sharing with people with a penchant for British Isles folk or prog, but while some may end up feeling that they have been served an incomplete morsel of each, the effort mostly falls in the "good" zone.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#239304)
Posted Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars For me this album and "The Last Bright Light" standout as my favourite MOSTLY AUTUMN albums.This is where it all started for the band and what a debut it was. Man Heather looks so good in the liner notes, what was she like 20 years old back then ? Anyway the music here is a template really for the albums that would follow. We get that Celtic flavour at times with the low and high whistles along with that PINK FLOYD vibe.

"Nowhere To Hide (Close My Eyes)" sounds like it could have been released as a single. A catchy and appealing song with Bryan singing lead. "Porcupine Rain" features these keyboard sounds that echo. I like the atmosphere. Vocals and a full sound before 1 1/2 minutes. A pretty good tune. "The Last Climb" along with the final track are my favourites. Birds are singing as gentle guitar then keys join in. A full sound with vocals after 2 minutes. Sounds like the Djente instrument after 3 1/2 minutes crying out. The guitar takes it's turn after 5 1/2 minutes and it's impressive. "Heroes Never Die" is my third favourite song. Some atmosphere to open before reserved vocals with guitar join the atmosphere. It gets fuller and contrasts continue. The guitar sounds great after 6 1/2 minutes eventually lighting it up.

"Folklore" sounds like a traditional Celtic tune with lots of violin. Sort of like a jig I guess you could say. "Boundless Ocean" opens with strummed guitar and whistles. Synths and drums join in. Dual vocals a minute in. Violin 3 1/2 minutes in as it settles to the end. "Shenanigans" is an instrumental that's very Celtic sounding. "Steal Away" is where Heather gets to sing lead. Thunder and rain to start. "Out Of The Inn" is another instrumental but it opens with a humerous sample of a guy singing in a bar with all his friends gathered around. I like the guitar and violin late on this one. "The Night Sky" is a top two for me. The wind is blowing as these Gilmour-like vocals come in. Very FLOYD- like. Flute and acoustic guitar after 3 minutes then it kicks in to a fuller sound after 4 1/2 minutes with violin. Guitar before 6 1/2 minutes solos beautifully until the wind takes over after 9 1/2 minutes to end it.

This album is a celebration on one hand of memories with friends and family, yet on the other hand it's also laid back and reflective. Very close to 4 stars for me. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#279240)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I first heard Mostly Autumn through their third efford, The Last Bright Light. It was a real fine record and I still think it is their very best to this day. As it is my wont with everything I like, I had to find their other works to buy. . And Their debut was the next I could get a hold of in the record store. It was expensive but I bought it anyway (the cover was great!). At the time I was quite disappointed when I heard it. And after a few spins I rarely put it on my CD player. When I decided to write a review, I started to listen to For All We Shared again and nowadays I can say I was a bit premature on my judgement.

Ok, it is no masterpiece. Their mix of Celtic Music and Pink Floyd was not yet fully developed. This record tends much more to the traditional folk path then on the prog rock vein. the one great exception is of course their greatest tune ever: Heroes Never Die has that timeless feeling any classic song must yield. Its a great epic and its always a joy to hear it. Even with all my disappointment at the time I had to admit this was a hell of a fine tune! There are other good stuff here too, but unfortunatly the poor production does not help them much. this is one MO album Id love to see remastered.

Still, I get the feeling tjat the more I hear the CD the more I like it. Maybe because nowadays Im starting to enjoy prog folk a little bit more than I used to. And if youre into that then youll surely like these songs. All the right elements of the famous Mostly Autumn sound are here. Not very well mixed, but still they are here and, most of the time, they work. A very nice work. Rating: something between 3,5 and 4 stars. Ill give it four because I finally found the nice melodies on it after all this time and I think its a worth addition to any prog lover collection, specially the ones that like some celtic music on it.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#281399)
Posted Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
2 stars The first climb

After reading many glowing reviews of the works of Mostly Autumn, I have tried many times to get into this band. So far I cannot say that I have achieved much success in that respect. For All We Shared was Mostly Autumn's first release and as such it is a bit premature. This band seems to have two principle influences: Pink Floyd and Folk Rock. The principle problem I have with this debut album is that they fail to fuse these two primary influences together into something new and interesting. The different styles of the band alternate instead of merging with each other most of the time. While this problem would remain on future releases of the band to some degree, they did improve in this respect already with their next album, the generally stronger The Spirit Of Autumn Past.

On the present album, the two sides of the band tolerate each other, and perhaps even attempt to respect each other, but they seldom manage to really cooperate. It is almost as if Mostly Autumn are two separate bands here making an album together; with Brian Josh leading a highly Pink Floyd-influenced band and Heather Finley a Folk Rock band like Steeleye Span of Fairport Convention. Indeed, with eight band members, they could well be two different bands. The two bands (or sides of the band) are not involved in a war with each other as such (which would perhaps be more interesting than this?), but the peace between them is often uncomfortable. Personally, I am much more fond of the Folk- side of the band than of the Pink Floyd-side. Pink Floyd has never been among my favourite bands to start with but I can certainly understand why they have achieved such high recognition in the world of music given that they had their own distinctive sound. A band that tries hard to - and succeeds in! - copying that sound, some 30 years after Floyd's prime is considerably less impressive. And that is often my impression of Mostly Autumn.

Several of the songs here are for me just too close to Pink Floyd to be considered as anything less than clones. The slow, lazy vocals of Brian Josh are strongly Pink Floyd-ish and his guitar sound is often frightfully similar to that of David Gilmour. But it doesn't end there, the feel of the songs, the tone of the music and particularly the melodies and the way to write songs and is also heavily reminiscent of Pink Floyd! This is just uncanny! The first four songs of the album are similar in style and contain little or nothing that would explain this band's categorization as Prog Folk. With Folklore, on the other hand, they suddenly jump to the other extreme and present an almost purely Folk-oriented dance number with hardly any Rock elements over and above the drums. While I generally do enjoy this type of music, I must say that many others do it so very much better than Mostly Autumn, at least compared to what they do here. Tunes like Folklore and Out Of The Inn are rather weak stabs at a genre that seem to lie far outside of Mostly Autumn's comfort zone (at least at this point in their career).

Even if I personally have a problem with the excessive Pink Floyd similarities of the album's first four songs, it soon becomes clear that this album is heavily frontloaded with almost all of the best songs coming at the beginning. Some of these early songs have since become live favourites for the band and are featured on many a live recording. Several of them were also re-recorded for the 2 CD best of compilation Catch The Spirit only a few years after the release of this original studio album. This means that the present album is not essential even for lovers of those tunes, but only for devoted fans and collectors.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#426526)
Posted Saturday, April 02, 2011 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars This has been my second MA album as I approached the band starting with The Spirit of Autumn Past. The first impression is that this is a bit immature respect to Spirit, but it already contains all the elements of their music plus something that will go lost later.

This first lineup features a violinist, or better a fiddler: Bob Faulds who will leave the band after realizing that the celtic element is not the main one. Also Angela Goldthorpe features as guest only.

The main references for the band are of course the Pink Floyd. Bryan Josh is the first to admit, in an interview, that he modeled his guitar playing on David Gilmour, while the Celtic element comes mainly from Heather FIndlay and Angela Goldthorpe. The girls were forming a folk duo before being hired in the band.

This is the early story, now the album.

"Nowhere to Hide" starts with some winds and is a song that doesn't have much of Celtic or Floydian, except for the starting winds and the coda which leads to the second track. The song itself is good. Josh is the lead vocalist (unfortunately) but Heather supports him well.

The intro of "Porcupine Rain" is a bit too long. Ok, Bryan can use the echo on his guitar as Dave Gilmour does, but to demonstrate it 30 seconds are enough. Point me at the sky....where did I hear this sentence before? Of course I'm joking. This song hasn't anything to do with Zabrisky Point. Not my favorite track, anyway.

The first very Floydian track is "The Last Climb" even though the long guitar intro can remind also to Anthony Phillips and the piano to Vangelis (Memories of Green). When Josh starts singing the chords and the melody are very similar to Humble Pie's "Earth and Water Song" that's a song that I like very much. This one is enriched by the very nice fiddle solo in the middle. It's a pity that the violin has disappeared so early from the band.

"Heroes Never Die" is the first very great track of the album. Apparently more inspired to Genesis and Marillion than to Floyd with Angela's flute adding dreamy sensations. The guitar harping reminds to Marillion and we are still in the intro...A five stars song. In the second part of the song the guitar takes the leadership and the Gilmourish riff is enhanced by the drum's accents. You can't just listen to this song. It's the kind of song that forces your body to move.

"Folklore" is the first full celtic interlude. The limit of this album is that the prog and the celtic elements are often alternated, but alost never fused into a single mixture. Only after about 4 minutes it turns into prog for a while. It's quite good but again they are mainly two separate songs joined together, not a fusion.

Angela's flute opens another sweet song. "Boundless Oceans" has a folky flavor thanks mainly to the flute. The second part of the song turns into minor chords and is lead by the vioilin.

Another celtic moment, again with a failed attempt to make some fusion with prog. I like it very much but "Shenanigans" suffers of the same problems of "Folklore". Let's dance, anyway.

A storm introduces "Steal Away". Finally it's Heather who sings. Between Pink Floyd, Renaissance and also late Clannad (the period of Macalla and Sirius). A slow colorful song.

"Out of the Inn" will be recycled for the Lord of The rings album but this is another story. It starts inside the inn in a typical Irish way: A guy improvising in rhyme telling a story over a fiddle base. Then another celtic instrumental comes. The whistle of Kevin Gibbons is initially leading the track, then there's room for the violin and the guitar. This is the only track on which the fusion between traditional celtic and prog seems to work.

As will become usual for the band, the last track is the longest. Not so long to be called an epic but surely the most complex track of the album. The most floydian song of the album, inspired probably more by Waters than by Gilmour. It makes me think more to Animals or The Wall. The solos are played alternatively by violin and guitar. The long instrumental coda will be reprised at the beginning of the second album and this will be a constant until The Last Bright Light.

The average level of this album's tracks is "good but non essential". Unfortunately the presence of some very good highlights is not enough to give an additional star. Howver I strongly recommend it to whoever likes folk and/or symphonic prog. Personally I really like this album and songs like Heroes Never Die can't be deleted from my portable device. 3 stars but very close to 4.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#500463)
Posted Tuesday, August 09, 2011 | Review Permalink

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