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Mostly Autumn - Go Well Diamond Heart CD (album) cover


Mostly Autumn


Prog Folk

3.47 | 114 ratings

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4 stars The loss of Heather Findlay was no doubt a major shock to Mostly Autumn, her excellent vocals an integral part of the band's sound. Luckily the band were in the fortunate position to have an equally fine singer waiting in the side-lines, Olivia Sparnenn, previously a backing singer slips into the front woman role effortlessly. Problem solved.

With the vocal problem solved the only concern now is can they still deliver on a musical level? I'm pleased to say a positive yes. Go Well Diamond Heart is one of the best albums in the bands career and may even be the equal of their landmark Passengers album. The band have brought together all the elements of past releases, the folk, rock, prog and Celtic touches and used them in some of their finest songwriting to date. There's far less Pink Floyd touches these days, which it has to be said has been apparent in the last few albums, the only hint being some of mainman Bryan Josh's excellent searing guitar solo's.

The band barely put a foot wrong with an album of almost consistently strong material, brimming with memorable hooks and melodies. The celtic opening of For All We Shared is a lovely way to open this mid tempo semi-acoustic rocker and introduces Sparnenn in fine style with a confident and lovely vocal performance. The largely acoustic Violet Skies is equally captivating with another lovely chorus melody rising from a subdued verse to great effect and another excellent performance from Sparnenn. Better than Findlay? Quite possibly.

Deep In Borrowdale (the English Lake District I presume) sees them up the heaviness and is a fine rocker with Josh's first lead vocal performance of the album and it has to be said that he's a far more confident singer these days though I'll always prefer it when Mostly Autumn leave the main vocal duties to the girls. In a similar vein is Something Better and almost as good.

The almost eight minute title track follows and sees Sparnenn returned to lead vocals. it's a dynamic piece from more reflective beginnings it soon reveals itself to be another powerful piece with a more grandiose feel, keyboards having a stronger presence courtesy of the reinstated Iain Jennings. In contrast the lovely ballad Back To Life follows which sees Sparnenn also contributing with a co-writing credit alongside Josh, as she also does on the final two tracks. The first of these, Hold The Sun is a slow rocker. Initial impressions were not as good as what had come before but repeated plays reveal a strong hook which only suffers because of the illustrious company it has to compete against. The Celtic tinged And When The War Is Over closes in a more restrained mode and a well-chosen way to end.

So there you have it, a triumphant return for Mostly Autumn with one of their strongest and most consistent albums of their career. Anyone who's enjoyed their past work, particularly in more recent years should be delighted with Go Well Diamond Heart. Highly recommended.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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