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GLASS SHADOWS

Mostly Autumn

Prog Folk


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Mostly Autumn Glass Shadows album cover
3.41 | 85 ratings | 13 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fireside (Josh) (5:12)
2. The Second Hand (Josh) (4:31)
3. Flowers For Guns (Josh - Findlay) (4:21)
4. Unoriginal Sin (Findlay) (5:13)
5. Paper Angels (Josh - Findlay) (4:22)
6. Tearing At The Faerytale (Josh) (6:49)
7. Above The Blue (Findlay) (5:53)
8. Glass Shadows (Josh) (11:18)
9. Until The Story Ends (Josh, Davison - Josh) (5:08
10. A Different Sky (Josh) (3:03)

Total time 55:55

The accompanying DVD for the limited edition version has also been completed and contains the following...
1. The Making Of Glass Shadows - A Video Diary
2. Bonus Footage - A short but charming clip of Bryan and Troy rehearsing in the studio
3. Bonus Tracks:
- Slow Down
- Black Stone
- A Different Sky (Alternative Vocal Mix)

Lyrics

Search MOSTLY AUTUMN Glass Shadows lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search MOSTLY AUTUMN Glass Shadows tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Bryan Josh / lead & backing vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic & 12 string guitars, piano, keyboards, Hammond organ, programming
- Heather Findlay / lead & backing vocals, piano, bodhran, tambourine and hand percussion
- Olivia Sparnenn / harmony vocals
- Anne-Marie Helder / harmony vocals, flute
- Andy Smith / bass guitars
- Henry Bourne / drums

Guest musicians:
- Troy Donockley / string arrangment and programming (7), Uilleann pipes, low and penny whistles

Releases information

CD + DVD Mostly Autumn Records (2008, Limited Edition)
CD Mostly Autumn Records AUT 7333 (2008)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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MOSTLY AUTUMN Glass Shadows ratings distribution


3.41
(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
11%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
40%
Good, but non-essential (38%)
38%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

MOSTLY AUTUMN Glass Shadows reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Pessimist
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The best album since Passengers, this is Mostly Autumn at their very best once again. The blend of melody, Floydian guitarwork and folky passages on this album is as good as it ever was, almost as good as on The Last Bright Light. The one beaming issue here however is what direction they are going in. They started off a kind of Progressive Folk Poppish blend, followed through into a pure prog folk phase and now they end up back to their roots: something is missing though. The prog bit. This could so easily pass as being a regular pop album, so i will bare that in mind whilst reviewing it.

The album starts off very well with Fireside, an enjoyable track with a very bluesy rock edge to it, much unlike anything from their previous works. The harmonies are very noticeable also, following the lines of the mixolidian; this is one of the key elements in Mostly Autumn's music. They seem to avoid contemporary classical techniques and strictly obide by traditional folk and medieval harmonies, something which bands and musicians tend not to do nowadays. A subtle trait to Mostly Autumn's music.

The album's second track of the album is called The Second Hand, quite ironic and probably the cheesy intention of the band. I'm not a fan of this track, it goes on a bit and drags a lot. I won't say too much about it as it's nothing special. Flowers For Guns however is great, I really love this song, the circular melody is immensely catchy, and, as usual, Heather's voice is lush to listen to. In this track the folky roots are re-exposed and it is quite a breath of fresh air. Bryan Josh is pretty hot on the acoustic guitar also, his tone is marvellous. If only he would keep to his guitar all the time...

Unoriginal Sin is the second highlight of the album, a very strong track with a beautiful melodic line, tight rhythm, divine harmonies and an extremely good verse. Heather is also singing lead on this one, which makes it all so much better, it's immeasurable. Likewise with the next track. In my opinion, Paper Angels is an instant Autumn classic, the best track on this album and definitely in the top ten songs of 2008 at least. It is that good! Here they cleverly blend common folk chords with classical music and is the ultimate modern prog power ballad, it is a night with scarlett johannson in music form. The guitar solo is very tasteful, the piano is well played and rightfully simplistic and Heather is at her finest vocally. I guarantee your neck-hairs will raise at 2:30 at the pinnacle acoustic point and they will set on fire as soon as the Paper Angels chant ends and Bryan Josh enters with a blistering guitar solo. The vocals then re-enter for a final time to ultimate this utterly beautiful piece of mastery. Of course, I overglorify the song to some ears, but listen to it a couple of times and you'll see where I'm coming from. This kind of beauty has only ever been topped by Evergreen off their previous albums.

Tearing At The Faerytale is a Bryan Josh song that progresses in the Floydian vein to a pretty good solo and has some decent acoustic moments. Not a highlight, but not a filler either. A likeable track, but not a loveable track that reveals Autumn's heavier side towards the end. Above The Blue is another beautiful Heather Findlay song accompanied by the piano once again, and although not as stunning as Paper Angels, very enjoyable and another highlight. Her vocal charm is by no means shied away in this song either.

Glass Shadows is probably the bands worst epic to date. I said it straight off because it is, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Mostly Autumn have always dealt out a good hand as far as epics go: take The Gap Is Too Wide and Shrinking Voilet for example. But this doesn't compare to those classics and it comes to no surprise that people before me have criticised it. All else aside though, it is still very good. I particularly love the beginning 4-5 minutes as they are especially Floydian and very dark. The rest is quite predictable though, it has to be said. Enjoyable nonetheless. Until The Story Ends is a bit like the acoustic songs in Last Bright Light, so no problem there. Very celtic with promenant percussion and flute parts, fans of Jethro Tull will appreciate this one.

The finale is superb. A pop song, yes. A prog song, no. But just 'cos it ain't prog doesn't mean it ain't good! I think it wraps the album up very stylishly and well. Excellent.

My only complaint of this album is the second song, which is pretty damn awful. This album is by no means prog though, and because this is PROGarchives, the highest i can rate it is 4 stars. Sure it has prog moments, but as a whole it's a well written folk-pop album. If you enjoy good music though, this album is for you. Best release of 2008 IMHO. Brilliant.

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Send comments to The Pessimist (BETA) | Report this review (#176891) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars

The recent years I am more and more pleased with the very distinctive Mostly Autumn sound, also on this new album you can enjoy lots of dynamics between the folky parts (featuring instruments like twanging acoustic guitars, Grand piano, Uillean pipes and flute) and the more compelling and bombastic parts (loaded with a heavy keyboard sound and often howling Floydian guitar runs), embellished with wonderful male and female vocals). On Glass Shadows I am delighted about the longer compositions Tearing At The Faerytale (strong build-up with lush instrumentation, from sensitive piano work and soaring keyboards to acoustic rhythm-guitar and a long moving guitar solo) and the a bit ominous and varied titletrack (delivering The Wall-like climates, a church-organ sound, floods of Hammond organ and powerful, quite dramatic vocals). A strong point in Mostly Autumn their music is that after those compelling and bombastic moments, you can always enjoy mellow and warm folky pieces and I love the Uilean pipes. Unfortunately on this album you cannot find very much Uilean pipes but the exciting duel with an electric guitar in Until The Story Ends almost puts this right!

I hope to see Mostly Autumn very soon, the last time was at about 10 years ago, since then they have turned from an obviously Pink Floyd inspired band into an unique progrock band and with Glass Shadows Mostly Autumn will please their fans again.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#177346) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, July 19, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have a mixed feeling when I listen to this album.

Take the opening number for instance. "Fireside" starts as one of their most folkish ones, and ends up almost as a hard (even heavy) rock tune. I can understand that the band was willing to move away from their Floyd sound, but hey! That's maybe not what their fans were expecting. I know the story: a band needs top evolve etc. But it seems that lots of bands seems to feel obliged to go into a harder direction (Porcupine Tree and Fish to name a few).

I far much prefer "The Second Hand" which is a more "Mostly Autumn" song featuring sweet vocals from Bryan Josh as well as a fine acoustic guitar solo. Maybe not extremely original, but a pleasant song.

What I mainly lack, are the splendid vocal harmonies we were used to. The exchange between Josh and Heather. At times, they were very close to perfection (if not reached), but on this album they definitely don't achieved this.

Gone are the superb and inspired guitar solo; unfortunately. Again, they used to sound pretty close to Gilmour's ones and maybe that Josh wanted to step away from the comparison. But I'm not even sure that this was totally intentional.

The well titled "Unoriginal Song" (I don't decide about the titles.) only confirms this. I'm specially disappointed with Heather's vocals here. And if you have ever some other MA reviews of mine, you know I usually praise her.

This album is rather boring so far, I must say. And I'm afraid that "Paper Angels" doesn't change the mood. Although, for the very first time, Josh is displaying a great guitar break like we all love. But twenty seconds is a rather short affair. Isn't it? Same apply to the longer "Tearing At The Faerytale".

In terms of brilliant composition, there is hardly only one to be mentioned. The title track of course. A wonderful crescendo type of song, even if I would have liked a bit more presence from Heather. The dramatic mood, the great guitar: it's all there. At last I would say.

Still, one great song (even if it clocks at over eleven minutes) is not enough to make a great album. I situate this effort between the two and the three star mark. The closing number being one of the poorest of the whole.

I'll be generous and upgrade this one to three stars. Thanks to the title track, I guess. But where is Heather???

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#178476) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars Glass Shadows sees Mostly Autumn taking a few steps back to a sound more in keeping with earlier releases than the more bombastic approach of the last couple of albums. A step back it may be but no doubt welcome by many early fans of the band who preferred the more mellow folk sound of the past. The band seems to becoming more streamlined with mainman Bryan Josh handling all the guitars and most of the keyboards as well as some vocals. Apart from him on the instrumentation side there is now only Andy Smith and Henry Bourne on bass and drums respectively. Of course Heather Findlay still supplies her lovely vocals aided by Olivia Sparnenn and Anne-Marie Helder with some excellent backing vocals. Helder also supplies the occasional flute.

This is an album that takes a few listens to get under your skin. First play I was left a little under whelmed but repeated listening reveals an album full of strong yet subtle melodies. As I have always thought with Mostly Autumn, the songs are best when sung by Findlay who has a far superior voice to the deadpan Josh who admittedly has improved on recent albums but still lacks the vocal prowess to convincingly handle a strong melody.

Best tracks include opener Fireside with a unison Findlay/Josh vocal and after an acoustic intro turns out to be one of the heavier moments on the album with an excellent Josh guitar riff. Flowers for Guns is lovely; an acoustic piece where Findlay's lead vocals are strongly augmented by some wonderful well placed backing vocals.

Unoriginal Sin is also a strong track which starts piano dominated with another excellent vocal performance from Findlay with a slow build to end. Tearing at the Faerytale is Josh's best vocal performance here and probably on any album for that matter. It's a mini epic gradually building into a more bombastic piece and also features one of Josh's searing guitar solos who is a fine usually understated player which is to the benefit of the music.

A little disappointing is title track Glass Shadows which is the longest track on the album. It's a dark brooding piece which plods along at a slow tempo and is a little one dimensional. It does pick up pace just beyond the midway mark but has little of substance to keep the listener interested. A shame considering it takes up 11 minutes.

Far better is Until the Story Ends, another acoustic piece with a unison Findlay/Josh vocal; Josh's vocals always work better with the support of Findlay. Closing track A Different Sky is another mainly acoustic track and a light and upbeat way to end.

So not the best Mostly Autumn album, a bit of a surprising U turn musically but a welcome adition to their collection. 3 1/2 stars.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#178592) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 01, 2008

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I think the band have produced a fantastic LP with this, certainly the best since Passengers, and reminiscent of The Last Bright Light, their best LP, in its outlook.

The album starts strongly with Fireside, which has a blues tint to it and Josh backs with some strong guitar work.

Some reviewers have commented on the more commercial feel to this LP, not necessarily a bad thing, and this is the first track which justifies that charge. As with the Josh & Co LP which I introduced to the site, Bryan's vocals shine here, tuneful and soulful, wonderfully backed by Heather Findley. It is simply a pleasant track.

I am not altogether keen on Flowers For Guns, simply because the backing vocals grate somewhat. However, this is redeemed somewhat by the lovely flute solo and backing, somewhat making up for the loss of Angela in yet more personnel upheaval for the band. The influence in the lyrics by a certain Mr Fish is obvious!

Unoriginal Sin is superb - an excellent Findlay vocal backed by trademark Josh guitar bursts. Yes, it feels far more Fleetwood Mac than Pink Floyd, but given that both bands were great, that is surely not such a bad thing?

Paper Angels is simply stunning, and finds Heather on exquisite vocal form. I also love Jennings piano backing, and his return to the fold is welcome and telling. There is a fantastic Josh solo as well, reminding us all why we started listening to the band in the first place.

Tearing at the Faerytale is also reminiscent of Joshs' solo outing, and none the worse for that. Josh sings heartedly of his heroes, backed again by great guitar work and swirling keyboards, with the rhythm section playing strongly.

Above the Blue is another lovely ballad, with a bit of mellotron thrown in for good measure. Again, Heather's voice is simply beautiful.

Glaas Shadows, the title track, is the epic of the album, and I feel it measures up very well to all previous such tracks. Again, the playing is superb, and Jennings keyboard textures certainly reminds us of earlier LPs. After a gentle and thoughtful intro, the pace picks up, before closing with soft keyboards. Excellent.

Until The Story Ends is the most profound Celtic track on the LP and moves on at a good pace, again Findlay & Josh interact well together.

The album ends with Different Sky, a jolly bouncy track which is really a pleasant closer rather than a classic.

I have followed this band since the beginning, and are by far the best band I know never to have broken into the big time in terms of media exposure. However, this LP should delight long standing and lapsed fans alike, whilst, hopefully, luring more melodic prog fans into the loop.

Very much recommended. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#198540) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 12, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Well that FLOYD and Folk flavour is still strong here but the Celtic vibe is all but gone. And when I say FLOYD in regards to MOSTLY AUTUMN it's that "Momentary Lapse Of Reason"/ "Division Bell" period that they sound like.

"Fireside" is catchy with female vocals.it sounds better when it kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Some brief ripping guitar 3 minutes in and later before 5 minutes to end it. "The Second Hand" is very FLOYD-like with male vocals. In fact the focus is on Bryan's voice here. "Flowers For Guns" opens with strummed guitar as female vocals and a beat join in. "Unoriginal Sin" features more of Heather's vocals with drums and sparse guitar. Electric guitar after 2 1/2 minutes, piano too. "Paper Angels" opens with piano as female vocals join in. Emotional soaring guitar after 3 minutes.

"Tearing At The Faerytale" opens with gentle guitar as male vocals and piano join in. It gets fuller and we get some nice guitar 4 1/2 minutes in. "Above The Blue" opens with sparse piano as reserved female vocals come in. A brief Celtic flavour before 3 1/2 minutes. "Glass Shadows" opens with piano. Reserved male vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. It gets fuller and FLOYD-like 2 1/2 minutes in. Guitar solo 6 1/2 minutes in and organ a minute later. "Until The Story Ends" opens with strummed guitar and there is a Celtic vibe here. Dual vocals join in. It's fuller 3 minutes in. "A Different Sky" is a refreshing and upbeat tune.

This is a talented band and there's a lot to like here, but for my tastes 3 stars is just right.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#283517) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars With Glass Shadows the change in the lineup is dramatic. First of all, as I have written in a forum's post, Angela Goldthorpe/Gordon has left the band, replaced by Olivia Sparnenn who featured as guest on previous albums and by Anne Marie Helder. Well the two girls are not able, in my opinion, to replace Angela effectively. Also Heather's voice appears unusually flat without the backing vocals and the arrangements of Angela.

Something in the band is broken. Another drummer is gone, Iain Jennings and Lian Davison are not credited so this is mainly a Josh's solo work even if Davison is credited as author on "Until The Story Ends" (a very appropriate title).

The album is more acoustic than the predecessors and the songwriting is not bad, what is missed is the band. "Flowers For Guns" is a very interesting track as it's very close to Renaissance. It's like Annie Haslam is beyond the stage.

However this is no longer Mostly Autumn. "Paper Angel" has still something of the old band. In general the parts mainly made of piano and voice like "Above The Blue" are good but this reflects the fact that this is not an ensemble. Only the already mentioned "Until The Story Ends" has a bit of celtic flavor, because of the flute, but it's nothing special.

Well I'm not disturbed when I listen to this album, it can easily run in the background when I'm doing something else, I don't dislike it, at least not totally.

"A Different Sky" is a good closer which contributes in leaving the listener with a positive sensation, but it's not enough for me. It also represents the end of the band which will later release "Go Well Diamond Heart" that's for me their worst thing after the "PinkFloyd Revisited" DVD.

Sorry, but I can't give it the third star.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#507582) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Mostly Autumn's "Glass Shadows" is a very gentle album overall with some of the more heartfelt melancholy songs that the band composed over their long tenure. The band were Bryan Josh on lead vocals, lead guitar, rhythm, and acoustics, along with piano, keyboards, and Hammond. Heather Findlay takes many of the songs as lead vocalist, and ocassionally piano, bodhran, tambourine and hand percussion. Olivia Sparnenn is wonderful on harmonised vocals, though she was to become lead vocalist on Findlay's departure. Anne- Marie Helder is excellent on harmony vocals, and flute.

The album opens with 'Fireside' driven by a vibrant riff and some great rocking rhythms throughout. The riff locks in and is one of the best heard from Josh who takes lead vocals. 'The Second Hand' has a slower measured cadence with a folk tinge, as with classic Mostly Autumn (MA) tracks. On 'Flowers For Guns' Findlay takes the lead vocals in this steady paced song. The flute is a beautiful embellishment and it is nice to hear Findlay, one of her last albums with the group before embarking on a patchy solo career. 'Unoriginal Sin' is Findlay's beautiful vocals over a truncated piano motif that repeats with simple notes. It is joined by acoustics and a steady rhythm. It has Pink Floyd resonances especially when the lead guitars chime in. Josh is terrific as usual but I really like the keyboard ambience on this one. 'Paper Angels' is a folk ballad by Findlay, making it 3 in a row where she dominates, not a bad thing and of course Olivia Sparnenn would take over as lead vocalist in a few years so here we can savour those crystal tones of Findlay's gorgeous timbre. The sadness of the song is enhanced by sparse piano arrangements and it builds to an emotional lead guitar that lifts it up; a beautiful song is the result. 'Tearing At The Faerytale' is the return of Josh's vocals, for welcome variation and the beat is measured and still maintains the melancholy, making this a quieter album from the group thus far. This track is often played live. 'Above The Blue' is a very pretty tune with Findlay in her most contemplative mood. The melancholy atmosphere is augmented with keyboard strings and lovely piano, and finally dreamy flute. This is one song that entrances with sleepy cadence and angelic vocals.

'Glass Shadows' is a definitive highlight with variations in tempo and time sig, and it builds from quiet reflection to a majestic wall of sound. It has a darker atmosphere too and is more forceful vocally from Josh. It even leads, after a crashing crescendo, to some flute passages; a masterful composition. 'Until The Story Ends' returns to folk influences, where Josh and Findlay harmonise well. The acoustic treatment is sparse at first, and it climbs up to spacey lead guitar swells, and Troy Donockley's Uilleann pipes. This instrumentation returns on the upcoming "Go Well Diamond Heart". The album ends on 'A Different Sky', that is upbeat and has a more commercial feel. Findlay and Josh sing together again, the last time they would be heard in the studio. It is a positive song with some potent lyrics about changes "out on the road under a different sky, don't go pushing the sunset down, remember this place just the two of us, cos you're so far away."

As a farewell album to long time member Heather Findlay "Glass Shadows" ironically has a tinge of profound sadness, but it is great to hear Findlay one last time recording with the band. Olivia Sparnenn would make a worthy successor on upcoming Mostly Autumn projects so all was not lost, but it was a brave move for Findlay to move into a solo career. Overall this 2008 album features some very nice material, though it does not have as many highlights as "Passengers" or some of the early albums; 3 stars is a fair rating for this release.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#912047) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, February 10, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars Oh, yeah. Celtic influences. I've just bought this album, but I can make a review: that's what you call "easy prog". Don't misunderstand me, I like GLASS SHADOWS and it's already in my mp3. But simply it's kinda easy to get: MA doesn't play difficult songs neither long ones and maybe someone coul ... (read more)

Report this review (#303769) | Posted by progknight94 | Wednesday, October 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Mostly Autumn has been categorized as a folk prog band ,but this album is nearer PF than Jethro Tull ,for example. In my opinion you can find strong roots of ps. space rock a la Pink Floyd. Songs are beautiful but a little too short. Heather voice sounds a little tired sometimes. But no doubt a v ... (read more)

Report this review (#173596) | Posted by robbob | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The big question with Glass Shadows isn't whether it's good, but whether it's prog. Instrumentally, it borrows a lot of the trappings from seventies progressive rock, but not the structures - long, complex, ambitious pieces of music really aren't Mostly Autumn's thing. Instead, they concentrate ... (read more)

Report this review (#173594) | Posted by Politician | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have to confess, the first time I played this, I was somewhat perplexed. You normally know exactly what you'll get from Mostly Autumn; heavenly female vocals, blissful guitar solos, great melodies and some folky romps on the positive side; some very dodgy male vocals and some slightly bland tra ... (read more)

Report this review (#172606) | Posted by Hercules | Friday, May 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars With their latest release Mostly Autumn both return to doing what they do best, and venture gently into new territories. Following on from their disappointing Heart Full of Sky, complete with band members leaving, fans split in their tastes etc, MA have returned to their roots as an English prog ... (read more)

Report this review (#170993) | Posted by rocker666 | Wednesday, May 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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