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MOSTLY AUTUMN

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Mostly Autumn biography
MOSTLY AUTUMN's music can be described as powerful atmospheric rock with a Celtic edge, influenced by PINK FLOYD, DEEP PURPLE and GENESIS, and reminiscent of 70's FLEETWOOD MAC and FAIRPORT CONVENTION. Their sound incorporates the uses of flute, low and penny whistles, violins and vocal harmonies - over a powerful band, existing of keyboards, two guitarists, bass and drums.

This band continues to grow into the classic description of a progressive band. After each disc they get better and better. MOSTLY AUTUMN currently have 6 albums to date. Third album is their most mature to date. A great mix of influences from CAMEL, PINK FLOYD, RENAISSANCE and some folkish JETHRO TULL. Recorded in November 2001 within a very short time, "Music Inspired By The Lords Of The Rings" is not the true awaited opus but rather a respectful tribute to J.R.R. TOLKIEN's "Lord Of The Rings", a timeless masterpiece of fantasy literature.


Related artists (bands) on PA:
BRYAN JOSH, HEATHER FINDLAY, BREATHING SPACE

Mostly Autumn official website

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Live 2009 Vol. 2Live 2009 Vol. 2
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$9.48
$9.47 (used)
Sight of DaySight of Day
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$10.49
$9.45 (used)
Catch the Spirit: Complete AnthologyCatch the Spirit: Complete Anthology
Import
Classic Rock Legends 2005
Audio CD$199.99
$11.92 (used)
Dressed in VoicesDressed in Voices
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$14.15
$14.15 (used)
Heart Full of SkyHeart Full of Sky
Import
Autumn 2007
Audio CD$15.01
$11.99 (used)
Box of TearsBox of Tears
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$10.92
$14.45 (used)
Live at the BoerderijLive at the Boerderij
Import
1-2-3-4-GO! 2013
Audio CD$14.37
$14.36 (used)
PassengersPassengers
Classic Rock Legends 2003
Audio CD$19.99
$4.99 (used)
Ghost Moon OrchestraGhost Moon Orchestra
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$21.23
$30.27 (used)
Pass the ClockPass the Clock
Import
Musea Records France 2014
Audio CD$28.87
$19.00 (used)
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MOSTLY AUTUMN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MOSTLY AUTUMN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 118 ratings
For All We Shared
1999
3.83 | 136 ratings
The Spirit Of Autumn Past
1999
3.97 | 200 ratings
The Last Bright Light
2001
3.09 | 80 ratings
Music Inspired By The Lord Of The Rings
2001
3.71 | 128 ratings
Passengers
2003
3.52 | 116 ratings
Storms Over Still Water
2005
3.48 | 96 ratings
Heart Full Of Sky
2006
3.44 | 107 ratings
Glass Shadows
2008
3.48 | 105 ratings
Go Well Diamond Heart
2010
3.77 | 102 ratings
The Ghost Moon Orchestra
2012
3.84 | 167 ratings
Dressed In Voices
2014
3.86 | 107 ratings
Sight Of Day
2017

MOSTLY AUTUMN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 28 ratings
The Story So Far
2001
2.75 | 13 ratings
Fiddler's Shindig (Live Serie's So Far)
2003
3.97 | 16 ratings
Live in the USA (Live Serie's So Far)
2003
3.34 | 13 ratings
Live At The Canterbury Fayre
2003
2.81 | 35 ratings
Pink Floyd Revisited
2004
4.40 | 15 ratings
Live at the Grand Opera House
2004
4.00 | 10 ratings
The V Shows
2005
3.28 | 14 ratings
Storms Over London Town
2006
3.45 | 12 ratings
Live 2009 - Part I
2009
4.16 | 13 ratings
Live 2009 - Part II
2009
4.16 | 25 ratings
That Night In Leamington
2011
4.04 | 9 ratings
Still Beautiful - Live 2011
2011
3.11 | 9 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2011
2011
4.43 | 14 ratings
Live at the Boerderij
2013
4.20 | 5 ratings
Box of Tears
2015

MOSTLY AUTUMN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.84 | 20 ratings
The Story So Far...
2001
3.50 | 8 ratings
The Next Chapter
2003
4.23 | 18 ratings
Live at the Grand Opera House
2003
3.67 | 22 ratings
The 'V' Shows
2004
3.00 | 22 ratings
Pink Floyd Revisited
2005
3.75 | 8 ratings
The Fiddler's Shindig
2005
4.20 | 16 ratings
That Night In Leamington
2010
4.60 | 10 ratings
Live At the Boerderij
2013

MOSTLY AUTUMN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.01 | 11 ratings
Heroes Never Die -The Anthology
2002
4.45 | 34 ratings
Catch The Spirit - The Complete Anthology
2002
4.70 | 28 ratings
Pass The Clock
2009

MOSTLY AUTUMN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 5 ratings
Prints In The Stone
2001
1.97 | 8 ratings
Spirits Of Christmas Past
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Mostly Autumn Acoustic - The Genesis Revisited Tour 2014
2015

MOSTLY AUTUMN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sight Of Day by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 107 ratings

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Sight Of Day
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by The Jester

4 stars Since I discovered Mostly Autumn, almost 6 years ago, I fell in love with their beautiful music. Sight of Day is the band's new album, that was released a few months ago and is the band's 12th studio album. The recording was funded through a pre-order campaign. Those who pre-ordered the album, received a special double-disc edition of the album, limited to 2000 copies. For all the others there is a single-disc edition available. Although I have the special edition, here I will deal with the normal edition of Sight of Day. First of all, the album includes 10 songs and has a total running time of almost 75 minutes. All 10 songs are excellent, and I never felt the need to skip not even one of them. The album opens with the 14-minute-long epic Sight of Day, which shows to the listener that many things has changed since the release of the previous album Dressed in Voices. An excellent and a typical Mostly Autumn song, and definitely one of the album's highlights. Sight of Day is followed by Once Round the Sun, with Bryan Josh on vocals and the upbeat tempo. Then, the soft and melancholic The Man Without a Name enters, which will sound familiar to all those who know the music of Mostly Autumn well enough. Hammerdown is another beautiful tune with Bryan Josh and Olivia Sparnenn sharing the vocal duties. Changing lives is a pleasant tune, but is doesn't add something more to the album. The fans of the TV series "Vikings" will probably appreciate the powerful Only the Brave that comes next. Native Spirit is one more long song, including many changes, which is filled with energy and beautiful guitar solos. Tomorrow Dies is not bad, but nothing special either, followed by Raindown; one of the album's finest moments, without a doubt.The album's final song is Forever and Beyond, which although is a good song, it sounds a little bit "weak" after all these wonderful songs. So, let's try to sum up: Sight of Day is a wonderful piece of work, including soft melancholic tunes, mixed with powerful parts, great guitar riffs and wonderful vocals. The album's sound is rich. including instruments like whistle, violin, flute, tambourine, Uillean pipes, etc? (There is no reason to mention the "classic" instruments, like guitar, bass, etc). As I mentioned before, this is an album, that you are going to listen from the first 'till the last song, without having to skip not even one song! Personal favourites: Sight of Day, Once Roundthe Sun, The Man without a Name, Hammerdown, Raindown, Only the Brave. Highly Recommended! 4.0 stars without a second tought.
 Sight Of Day by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 107 ratings

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Sight Of Day
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Twelve studio albums in, with numerous live albums and DVD's slotting in between, and Mostly Autumn are still firing on all cylinders on their most recent set, 2017's `Sight of Day'. With the much- loved Heather Findlay-fronted version of the group truly behind them, the Olivia Sparnenn-led line up is sounding more settled in, inspired and determined to impress than ever, and while `Sight...' may not take the group in many surprising new directions, it shows them honing to near-perfection their expected mix of fancy folk, gutsy prog-rock and emotional vocal-driven song-writing. As always, Olivia and her hubby, the charismatic lead guitarist/frontman Bryan Josh, take the spotlight, but returning member/multi-instrumentalist Chris Johnson also offers welcome contributions that shine, and the album frequently turns out to be a true showcase for the sublime skill of keyboard player Iain Jennings.

Mostly Autumn play their proud prog card right from the opening multi-part title-track, and throughout its fourteen-plus minute length, the band offer everything from the most subtle of Iain's pristine and softly melancholic piano playing and moody symphonic keyboards, Olivia's passionate voice carrying the reflective lyric and Josh's slow-burn ever-building electric guitar reaches across a range of moods. It manages to include two big anthemic passages with both the `And it's the greatest show on Earth...' and `In the blazing sun the music filled the sky' moments proving hugely joyful and chest-beating with Josh and Olivia singing in unison, and they truly takes the piece higher and higher. Make no mistake - right from the first spin, it's clear that fans of the group are going to raise this one up as a Mostly Autumn classic, displaying a mastery of controlled build and expertly delivered drama, and it's going to be a cracker whenever performed live.

Moving on, the verses of the Bryan-led `Once Round the Sun' and his raspy vocal convey embracing `come-together' lyrics but the rest is a muscular rocker lying somewhere between Jethro Tull and Deep Purple with its shimmering Hammond organ and Alex Cromarty's tough pounding drumming, with just a pinch of Angela Gordon's twirling flute. The gently confronting piano ballad `The Man Without a Name' is an Olivia-sung low-key reminder to stay young at heart, and the initially acoustic and lightly bluesy `Hammerdown' lifts to life with a searing Bryan and Olivia shared vocal.

A welcome surprise, `Changing Lives' is written and performed by multi-instrumentalist Chris Johnson, and while it eventually pours on some grander symphonic synths and fiery guitar wailing, the sprightly and up-tempo piece holds verses sounding not unlike a track from alt-country singer Ryan Adams and the chorus is kissed by the radio-dominating version of Fleetwood Mac! `Only the Brave' is a hard dusty country-flecked rocker accompanied by Anna Phoebe's searing violin that bounces with buoyant momentum and reminds a great deal of Pink Floyd's `Sheep', but `Native Spirit' is the other big `prog' moment, a ten-plus minute epic. Pleading for the preservation of nature, old way-of-life and spirit, reflective acoustic guitar passages are contrasted with scorching electric runs, some surprising darker turns in the middle that lead towards dramatic symphonic strings and gloomy synths before a rocking loved-up finale backed to pounding drums and Andy Smith's pulsing bass.

Unexpectedly, `Tomorrow Dies' is heavily electronic and therefore dominated by Iain's keyboards, and it holds an Olivia-sung chorus that could easily sit alongside the poppier moments of German female-fronted indie-prog band Frequency Drift's `Over' album from 2014 (and listen out for a brief heavy flamenco guitar-like burst buried deep in the middle!), and `Raindown' is one of those fancy orchestrated ballad moments that Mostly Autumn deliver on all their albums, and sure enough Olivia excels throughout it with a powerhouse performance. The wistful and joyous `Forever and Beyond' wraps the album, an upbeat tune with an overly pretty melody that perhaps proves just a little too sweet, where the previous grander track would probably have made for a stronger closer, but all good!

As usual, this new album is also available as a limited edition double CD set with a thirty-five minute bonus disc. Of the seven tracks included on it, five of them are a showcase for Olivia Sparnenn-Josh being a collection of soft rock songs and classy ballads sung by her, with the soaring chorus of `Moments' and the optimistic (and quite unashamedly poppy) `In Time' being particular highlights. Chris Johnson delivers a sparse alt-country one-take acoustic tune `Pushing Down the Floor' that sounds like it could have come off Ryan Adams superior `29' album, but Pink Floyd fans will most dig Bryan's six minute Pink Floyd-flavoured instrumental `July'. With sparkling and delicately melancholic Rick Wright-like piano and weeping David Gilmour-esque guitar wisps, this beautiful piece could easily pass for an outtake from Floyd's `The Division Bell' album. This is a very worthy bonus collection, and would actually make for a fine EP all on its own.

`Sight of Day' ticks all the right boxes for a Mostly Autumn album, making it a winning collection of their accessible melodic arrangements with frequent displays of instrumental prowess, superior male-female vocal class and all the inward-looking soul-searching lyrics the group is known for. Curious newcomers wanting to hear a strong example of the band and their music could easily be recommended `Sight of Day', and long-time fans will also be in for a treat with a superb album that ranks up amongst their best releases. The prog-rock institution that is Mostly Autumn carries on, stronger and better than ever.

Four and a half stars.

 Sight Of Day by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 107 ratings

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Sight Of Day
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars 'Dressed in Voices' was the long awaited return to form for the British prog-folk band Mostly Autumn, a fact that was recognized be all critics and fans and in order to further consolidate their position, the follow up 'Sight of Day' keeps the eye on the progressive prize. Lead singer Olivia Sparnenn-Josh is once again given a strong melodic platform to show off her considerable range and powerhouse delivery. She just may be the current prima donna (in the positive sense) of prog, at least in my humble opinion. This solid crew has been together for quite a while now and they seemed to have found their calling once again, focusing on crushingly attractive melodies sprinkled by some spectacular instrumental soloing from the fabulous guitar of Bryan Josh and Iain Jennings' ornate keyboard wizardry. The tight rhythm section of Andy Smith and Alex Cromarty act as the perfect motor for the band to pull of some masterful arrangements and thus create vivid, entertaining music of the highest order. Chris Johnson is the perfect rhythmic guitarist for Josh, liberating his gun-slinging technique with soaring, gliding solos that pierce the clouds.

The title track opens up the velvety curtains with a rather incredible 14 minute epic masterpiece that encapsulates the real essence of MA, a heady mixture of romantic and bombastic zeal that dives into exciting melodicism and bold instrumental play. Iain Jennings lovely piano introduces a dignified and confident vibe, setting the melancholic tone for a spiral of delicious sounds, seamless shifts and crazed soloing. Needless to say, Olivia sings like the wind, gently powerful when needed and utterly expressive.

Maintaining a luminous disposition ,'Once Around the Sun' offers quite a shimmering bombastic touch, with a Bryan Josh that winks at classic Roger Daltry (Who?). The melody has a little native Indian beat to it, a trait that will surface later in the track list, the organ in particular shining bright. Powerfully simple, immediately catchy and cool. 'Take care of yourself', he said.

The short but crushingly beautiful 'The Man without a Name' has Olivia showing her unbelievable voice, crystal clear and precise, vocal perfection in both delicacy and power. She has an almost Sarah Brightman tinge, a compliment of the highest order, I can assure you. Stripped down and pure, quite a gem to behold, with mostly piano as an escorting vessel.

What I find particularly appealing is their treatment of conventional structured songs, which they mould into something very much in their image, like the bluesy rocker 'Hammerdown', a raucous and fervent cry in the dark, that has classic rock stamped all over it, loaded with perspiration and muscle. Bryan Josh's voice crackles with emotion and his soaring guitar follows suite, screeching high and mighty like only he can.

Displaying incredible variety, the Chris Johnson-sung, produced and penned 'Changing Lives' surprises by fitting nicely within the overall framework , yet completely different from the other tracks here, a modern soft rocker that sizzles unashamedly, coming together as one, male and female voices in harmonious communion. Jennings' raging Hammond organ shudders violently as the overwrought guitars howl to the moon. Massive and feisty, 'Only the Brave' has wave upon wave of windswept bombast that incorporate some of Troy Donockley pipes and whistles. Early Mostly Autumn initially focused on strong folk roots, inserting a pastoral feel as well as eclectic instruments into their compositions and it's great to see that gift being added to a rather bruising and athletic rock track. 'Viking water, gods of thunder'.

Contrast that with another epic highlight track, a brooding and extreme splurge of sound, reliving native Indian lore, both in the instrumental envelope as well as lyrically. Bryan's focus on Canada is quite a stirring revelation, as my country certainly has the vast lands, 'mountains, trees and bright moons'. 'Native Spirit' is a fascinating track, replete with sweeping and dark orchestrations that keep the rhythmic thunder in check, a brilliant performance from Cromarty, pummeling like a feathered warrior on the war path. Both Josh's guitar and voice go way beyond the horizon, deep and trembling into the moonlit night.

Iain Jennings is quite the keyboardist, orchestrating modern swaths of sound in a most symphonic style as he did rather vividly once on 'Distant Train' off the Passengers album, so it comes as no surprise that 'Tomorrow Dies' is heavily clad in dense arrangements that highlight Olivia's authoritative vocal. Man, can this woman sing, or what? I still have goosebumps listening to this blurting yelp for salvation. Thrilling, expansive, shimmering and glittering. One of MA finest pieces ever.

Josh is a bad man, as he follows up with two more absolute killer tracks to finish off slaying my pleasure. 'Rain Down' hushes the deepest sentiments, violins in tow, evoking the majesty of Mother Nature's cleanse, both a torrent of rejuvenation and a cascade of satiation. Angels waiting to towel down the tired soul, momentarily drenched in emotional comfort. This track is so poignant, intensely vivid and heartfelt, a sheer joy to behold. Surely a concert highlight, perhaps even encore material.

Closing the book on this 73 minute extravaganza, 'Forever and Beyond' is simplicity incarnate, featuring a radiant and truthful ode to life and all its tribulations, bathed in a pastoral and folky setting. Perhaps hearkening back to their first album , 1999's 'For All We Shared', a time of rebellious discovery and artistic expression, this passionate vocal duet between husband and wife, soon to be father and mother, is as exhilaratingly personal as it gets and we are all blessed to be witnesses to all this impending joy. The feel is upbeat, smiling right and incredibly positive.

We all need music like this in today's screwed up world. Panacea, genuine art, passion-fueled music of the highest order, something anyone with a pumping heart can understand and ultimately feel inside of themselves. This Mostly Autumn ship will keep on flying'.

5 Visions of Time

 Pink Floyd Revisited by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover DVD/Video, 2005
3.00 | 22 ratings

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Pink Floyd Revisited
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I have to say I was appalled by the low ratings this DVD got (at least the first ones), since I have always loved Pink Floyd Revisited (OK, I got it: the title is really unfortunate, to say the least!, and misleading). In fact, when I bought it I was delighted because the band was obviously inspired by PF and the covers they played were very good ones, specially that they chose some more obscure tunes and decided to cover one of my fave PF songs, Echoes. Not too many bands have the guts to do this one and get away with it. In fact, I don´t know any other who indeed played this one in full. And remember, I am a big Floyd fan.

The second disc is Mostly Autumn doing what they do best: their own original songs. And both the quality of the material and the performances are also very high. So I had nothing to complain about this DVD. In fact, I wish they played more PF songs. They were respectful to their idols and showed they also had their own stuff to set aside any "cover band" label that some could bear on them. It was a tribute, from an excellent band to a legendary one.

A fine show that I wish I was there to watch it personally. I´m glad they recorded it for posterity. For me is a classic performance.

 Sight Of Day by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 107 ratings

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Sight Of Day
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sight of Day is Mostly Autumn's twelfth studio album. There is a massive contrast between this and the superb predecessor album, Dressed in Voices. Bryan Josh himself describes this as an "album of light", whilst Dressed....was as dark as a black hole. When reviewing that album, I posited that it might act as a springboard to greater commercial success, because this is surely well deserved. I fear this might never come about, but, as a prog cottage industry, they seem to keep coming up with excellent product, adored by a loyal fan base, and there are worse positions to be in, I suppose.

This album is more of a traditional Autumn work, blending effortlessly pomp prog, lilting guitar bursts, with that folk backdrop which led me to fall in love with their work way back when I first clapped ears on The Last Bright Light. It is far too simplistic to describe the band as a Floyd influenced vehicle. Of course, this is there, but there is so much more to them than that. For a start, the beautiful violin of Anne Phoebe, and deep flute of Angela Gordon, backing a sublime vocal on the exceptional ballad, Raindown, before giving way to a huge Josh guitar solo supported by sumptuous keyboard work, is simply Mostly Autumn at their unique best. There is no other band capable of this track, and the wonder of it all echoes in your mind long after the track finishes.

The title track is the opener, a 14 minute plus epic which simply lifts the spirit. The sound is epic, and Josh produces a soaring mid section solo. This gives way to the type of thoughtful acoustic folk prog they have always excelled at, with a knowing nod to Autumns Past, before concluding with such a joyous and raucous celebration of life and sound. Bryan's wife, Olivia Sparnenn-Josh, is now such an integral part of the band that it is becoming difficult to remember when she wasn't there. Her voice on this, and everywhere else, delights at every turn, and my best wishes to the pair of them for the impending birth of the first Josh Junior.

What Olivia demonstrates here is just what a marvellous range of vocal techniques she has. From the sheer front on pomp of the opener, with vocal and guitar jousting between the two, we are treated to a fragility on the thoughtful, and questioning, The Man Without A Name, a track which features a deceptively simple piano lead and background keys and rhythm guitar. A joy, and a highlight of the album.

However, to treat this as merely the Josh family vehicle would be a mistake. There have been many lineup changes over the years, but Josh has always surrounded himself with quality contributors, and a very pleasant surprise on this album was to hear a written and performed track, Changing Lives, by the returning Chris Johnson. A damned fine track it is, too, with the male/female vocal interplay after "come together" being particularly pleasing. Johnson, by the way, also gets a production credit on this.

I have always enjoyed Iain Jennings' keyboard work, and this is highlighted to great effect on the co-written, with Josh, and rather dark, Tomorrow Dies. The keyboards, together with some thumping drum work by Alex Cromarty, create a track which is about as futuristic as the band will ever come. Olivia belts out a massive vocal lead, and I can see this becoming a firm anthemic favourite in the live arena.

It is fantastic to welcome back the hugely talented flautist and vocalist, Angela Gordon, Anne-Marie Helder having left to concentrate on Panic Room and linked projects. In addition to her contribution to Raindown, I love the recorder intro to the Norse mythology track, Only The Brave. It is a misleading intro, though, because the main body of the song rocks along at a rollicking pace, showcasing, in particular, a very strong rhythm section in Cromarty and Andy Smith.

From Norse mythology imagined around a camp fire, we decamp to Native American spirituality and love of life in Native Spirit. The denouement, with guitar, dark, looming, keys, and pounding drums & bass creates a massive wall of sound, and is a particular delight. Josh produces a wonderfully sensitive vocal in the lead up to the end passage, which crackles with emotion.

Talking of which, the album closer, Forever and Beyond, is a lovely paeon to lost youth, absent friends, and thoughts of eternity. It is a gentle love song which always stays on the right side of mawkish, and is Celtic to its very roots.

There is not one bum note or track on this album, a fine addition to a library bursting with great work. It is quite excellent, and highly recommended, especially to those tempted to dip their toes in for a first ever listen to the band.

Four stars, but an extra half if we had the facility for such a rating.

 Sight Of Day by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.86 | 107 ratings

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Sight Of Day
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by javajeff

4 stars This is their best album with Olivia Sparnenn on vocals, and an excellent album to compete with Heather Findley era material. I enjoy the last four albums with Olivia Sparnenn, but Sight of Day has the band hitting on all cylinders. Olivia gives an excellent vocal performance that is soft, sincere, and full of heart. Musically, this is likely the most proggy of the last four releases anchored with many long tracks starting with the 14 minute Sight of Day. For fans of Mostly Autumn, this is a must of course. With excellent musicianship and solid songwriting, there is something for everyone. Of course it would not be a Mostly Autumn album without many terrific guitar solos. I also enjoy the vibe with Bryan Josh on vocals as it provides variety for the album. Dressed in Voices was a very good album, but I prefer the longer song format in Sight of Day.
 Dressed In Voices by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.84 | 167 ratings

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Dressed In Voices
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by Theo Verstrael

3 stars Mostly Autumn still wears the folk tag on this site because of their first few albums on which Celtic influences were quite obvious. These were represented by violin player Bob Faulds and flautist Angela Gordon and, at least to my knowledge, heavily supported by vocalist and lyricist Heather Findlay. Inbetween the folky tunes there were sweeping epics loaded with soaring guitar solos by mr. MA himself, Bryan Josh and some up-tempo rockier songs. I loved it; the first three albums made MA one of my all-time favourite bands. After the departure of Faulds and Gordon the folky influences start to disappear, culminating in their complete absence on this album. Instead we get a well-crafted concept album, based on a dark and brooding theme, with quite attractive tunes that all fall in the rock category. There's no folk to be heard and, which is even worse, I also miss the prog elements on this album. To my ears none of the songs even come close to their epic songs like 'Heroes never die', 'Evergreen', 'Pass the clock'. and, especially the genial 'The gap is too wide'. On former albums I have already wondered why mr. Josh and his companions wandered away from these kind of epic songs, replacing them by more or less 'normal' rock songs based on heavy guitar riffs instead of intricate flute or piano themes. That question is even more dominant on this album; the sublety is gone and for me the trademark of MA has therefore disappeared. Because of this I'm utterly surprised that 'Dressed in voices' receives so much praise on this site. Although there are some very nice songs here, with the last one being the high light of the album, I am disappointed in the direction that MA is taking. They are becoming just one of those bands while they were outstanding. Too bad, maybe better next time?
 Glass Shadows by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.44 | 107 ratings

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Glass Shadows
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There really isn't much to say about this album other than it contains virtually no prog. It is a collection of pleasant songs sung by male and female vocalists and there is some Celtic influence. The guitar work is quite good in some passages and, as with most of the Mostly Autumn albums, is very much influenced by David Gilmour's guitar work in Pink Floyd, minus the progressive elements. The music is good enough, but it offers no challenge or nothing out of the ordinary. From what I have heard from this band, the first album was the best, but there never was any progression beyond that sound. Yes, it's very nice music, but again, nothing really stands out much. The highlight is the 11+ minute title track, but honestly, it is very reminiscent of the excellent song "Heroes Never Die" from their first album and doesn't really offer anything new. Again, other than that, there really isn't much to elaborate on here. Good, but non-essential.
 Dressed In Voices by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.84 | 167 ratings

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Dressed In Voices
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by MELNIBON

4 stars Since "The Last Bright Light" (2001), Mostly Autumn had not released a studio album worthy of their talent and know-how. Even though each of the 20 studio and live albums released since the turn of the new century has a few gems, most of their content doesn't deliver much more than beating around the bush or go much further than well beaten tracks. That said, it must be pointed out that many of their live albums fared better than those from the studio, despite some occasional faltering in sound engineering in some of those live recordings.

This time, Josh and his band have decided, at long last, to venture away from too familiar grounds. Not a 180 course change, but a definite reassessment of the band's musical raison d'tre. The love story between Olivia Sparnenn and Bryan Josh (they were married last summer) cannot be mere trivia in regards to Mostly Autumn's new opus. Not only does Sparnenn literally sings her heart out on the album, but she has contributed (lyrics and/or music) four songs that express the very soul of Mostly Autumn's musical identity : "Running" (4:33),"Skin On Skin" (5:54), "The House On The Hill" (4:24) and "Box Of Tears" (3:52). Granted, she's not knew to this, since she started writing for the band on "Go Well Diamond Heart" (2010) after she took over from Heather Findlay? although this time, on "Dressed In Voices", she seems much more at ease, confident not only when delivering the songs, but imbuing their themes (whether in the lyrics or the music) with soul, passion or delicate grace that are not present with such power and truth in her former contributions. As regards to the other half of the loving couple, Josh's lyrical and musical motifs are definitely more inspired, muscled and diverse than they've been for more than a decade. Also, his voice has shed the hoarse tone it had developped over the years. His guitar playing is richer than ever : without getting rid of what he proudly owes to Gilmour and Latimer, he now reaches farther or, rather, in a more eclectic fashion, which all for the best because it enhances the end result.

According to the liner notes written by Josh , the album revolves around this : " If you take somebody's life, I believe you must be forced to feel the full weight of what you are taking away : their past, present, what could have been, and the effect it would have on family, friends, loved ones. In this story the killer is forced to witness all that, as time briefly comes to a standstill." Thus, it makes for a dramatic theme. The opening song, "Saturday Night" (5:10), sets the stage without fretting too much : up-beat, sudden shifts, sound snippets, verses almost narrated more than sung, until Sparnenn's voice soars, reaching for the heavens. "Not Yours To Take" (5:01) is even more dynamic, Iain Jennings arrangements on keys providing perfect support for Josh's vocals. Typical Prog Folk ballad with Celtic overtones, "Running" (4:33) is a brilliant showpiece of balance between soft, delicate moments and vocal crescendos illuminated by Josh's guitar playing. "Home" (4:39) is built upon high contrasts : thick and unrelenting rythm vs waves and swirls of keys, and Sparnenn's voice vs Josh's guitar solo. "First Day At School" (7:28) starts in duet almost like a tender lulaby, opening further on on some breathtaking horizon, vibrant, brimming with emotions, and eventful. Rockiest and heaviest song on the album, "Down By The River" (4:42) is a confrontation of sort, where Sparnenn's voice spars (no pun intended) with the rest of the band going full drive. "Skin On Skin" (5 :54) is most probably the most surprising song of the lot : it matches up a Celtic ballad? with rockabilly la Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" !... And it works. Not only is it fun to listen to (Sparnenn's vocals are irresistible), but it's to Mostly Autumn's credit to have made it possible and great. "The House On The Hill" (4:24) pushes farther down the country sound (or road) with pedal steel guitar twanging delightfully along. "The Last Day" (6:28) starts slowly, and then builds up at mid-point with Sparnenn taking off ; I couldn't help but be reminded of Annie Haslam and Renaissance, but here the whole venture is much heavier, and holds a more menacing tone. Shifting between anthem and ballad, the beauty within the title-song (5:49) rests entirely on Sparnenn, not only because of the range of her voice, mais also the power of its delivery that fuses with Josh's fiery guitar solo. "The Library" (4:30) is a magnificent blues (Clapton- and Gilmour-inspired in equal parts) that Sparnenn and Josh sing together? with an ending that is remiscent of Knopfler's picking style !... In "Box Of Tears" (3:52), the vocals gather momentum gradually, but they're subdued to a certain degree under piano parts wrapped with delicate flute. All in all, there are no "epics" on Mostly Autumn's album? simple because, due to its thight thematic unity (lyrics and music), "Dressed In Voices" is an epic album of 63:17 !

4 aural robes? because the past has been cleared, the present is brilliant? but it remains to be seen if the future will hold the promises contained within "Dressed In Voices".

 For All We Shared by MOSTLY AUTUMN album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.54 | 118 ratings

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For All We Shared
Mostly Autumn Prog Folk

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Singer and guitarist Bryan Josh and others from Mostly Autumn came from a band that covered Pink Floyd songs called "One Stoned Snowman", so it's not much of a surprise that his vocals and guitar style reflects those of David Gilmore. The sound is very close. The band itself is a British band that utilizes a lot of celtic-rock influence in several of their songs. There is some use of traditional instruments and modern rock instruments, so you get a nice combination of the folk/rock fusion which is very evident in some of their songs.

Their debut album starts out with some decent songs, but they are somewhat straightforward and help to establish a sound. The celtic influence is not very obvious in these two tracks, but you can hear both lead vocalists (male and female) singing with Bryan being the most obvious and with Heather Findley mostly serving as support. You also notice the use of the violin which is a great addition to the sound, and there are several excellent violin solos throughout the album along with great guitar solos, but the guitar solos are somewhat minimal in these first two tracks. Tracks 3 and 4, "The Last Climb" and "Heroes Never Die" are longer tracks in which you can really hear the PF influence strongly. Both tracks are highlights of the album, are mid tempo (like the previous two) and are absolutely stunning. Vocals are somewhat vulnerable sounding, but in my opinion add to the beauty and impact of both tracks. These are both masterpieces, but are similar in sound. While they are playing, you don't notice this much because the songs are so great, but when "Folklore" starts, the fact that it is a traditional Irish song almost gets missed because the album begins to sound to much the same. The listener begins to wish for a change of sound.

"Folklore" starts out with a traditional sound with one instrument playing the melody and the background provides a drone based on chords. Suddenly, the music takes a sharp turn and becomes a straight out jig, and after the constant mid-tempo of the album to this point, this becomes a welcome and exciting change. The last quarter of the song gets more intense as the entire band joins in turning this into a Jethro Tull sounding rock/folk fusion and remains an instrumental throughout. This change of pace is prevalent in the next track "Boundless Ocean" which also has a nice Celtic flavor. This one features vocals again and also an excellent violin solo. After that, the Celtic inspired music continues with another traditional instrumental, this time being very upbeat throughout the song. Now the listener is starting to tire of the Celtic sound by the end of this track and that sound is wearing out. Part of the "wearing out" factor is that the passages in some of the songs carries on a little too long for similar tracks to be arranged together like they are.

The next track is "Steal Away" and is pretty much a typical medium rock song with Heather on vocals alone for the first time on the album. That part is a nice change, but the song itself is pretty mediocre. The next track segues from this and is called "Out of the Inn". It starts with a spoken word style rendering based upon The Lord of the Rings, and again it carries on a little too long. Then the traditional Celtic sounds return, and this pattern is beginning to get old. But this time, the rock instruments join in earlier and you get that JT feeling again. The last track is another epic in the PF tradition with the usual excellent guitar solo, but since it follows the same pattern as tracks 3 and 4, it is nothing surprising. It tends to get lost among the songs, even though it is still a nice song.

All in all, the album is impressive for a debut album under the Mostly Autumn name. The passages are sometimes too long for the type of album it is though. The repeated use of mid-tempo PF inspired rock combined with Celtic inspired folk rock tends to get old because of the long passages in the songs. I usually don't condone trimming songs because of the artistry, but in this case, a little editing in the right places would have been helpful.

Really, the best reason to locate this album is for tracks 3 and 4 more than anything. These are masterpieces even if they are based heavily on David Gilmour's sound. The sound is well done and these tracks are masterpieces. However, the pattern of the album gets old because of extensive passages and tends to lose the impact of the originality that is present. Still, it is an excellent album, especially for a debut, and things would get better with time and several line-up changes through the years. 3.5 stars that I can easily round up to 4 because of the essential tracks that are contained on the album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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