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

FOR ALL WE SHARED

Mostly Autumn

 

Prog Folk

3.55 | 127 ratings

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TCat
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

TCat | 4/5 |

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