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Mostly Autumn

Prog Folk

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Mostly Autumn Heart Full of Sky album cover
3.54 | 136 ratings | 13 reviews | 17% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fading Colours (8:27)
2. Half a World (4:50)
3. Pocket Watch (4:20)
4. Blue Light (4:58)
5. Walk with a Storm (7:51)
6. Find the Sun (5:35)
7. Ghost (5:27)
8. Broken (5:11)
9. Silver Glass (7:10)
10. Further from Home (6:26) *
11. Dreaming (8:36)

Total Time 68:51

Bonus CD from 2006 Limited edition:
1. Science and Machinery (6:00)
2. Open Road (4:22)
3. Gaze (4:48)
4. Yellow Time (5:11)
5. Broken Soldier (6:12)
6. Further from Home (6:27) *
7. Bright Green (4:00)
8. Softer Than Brown (5:02)

Total Time 42:02

* Moved from disc 1 to disc 2 on SE

Line-up / Musicians

- Heather Findlay / lead & backing vocals, percussion
- Bryan Josh / lead vocals, lead, rhythm & acoustic guitars, drum programming, piano (3,6-8,10,11,2.6), keyboards (1-3,5-8,10,11), bass, producer
- Liam Davison / slide guitar
- Chris Johnson / keyboards (4,5,9,11), acoustic & electric guitars (4), drum programming, bass, lead vocals & piano & glockenspiel (9), backing vocals
- Angela Gordon / flute & clarinet (4), recorder (5), backing vocals (2,5,11,2.4)
- Andy Smith / bass
- Andrew Jennings / drums
- Olivia Sparnenn / backing vocals (2,5,11)

- Troy Donockley / uilleann pipes (5,11), low whistle (10,2.6)
- Peter Knight / violin (5,6,10,2.3,2.6), backing vocals (11)
- David 'Munch' Moore / Hammond organ (2,5,2.2)
- Anne-Marie Helder / backing vocals (2,4,5,10,11,2.6)
- Roger Newport / backing vocals (11)
- Mark 'McKinty' Gordon / backing vocals (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Exmachina

2CD Mostly Autumn Records ‎- AUT2333 (2006, UK) SE only temporarily available on the website
CD Mostly Autumn Records ‎- AUT0933 (2007, UK)

Thanks to Anthony for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy MOSTLY AUTUMN Heart Full of Sky Music

MOSTLY AUTUMN Heart Full of Sky ratings distribution

(136 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(17%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MOSTLY AUTUMN Heart Full of Sky reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars This review is about the 1-CD version, it's the same as CD-1 from the 2-CD Limited Version but 11 tracks, including Further From Home as an extra.

From the very first beginning of this new album by UK proggers Mostly Autumn I am carried away, what a wonderful, dynamic and often compelling music. The first track showcases how matured they have in composing: after a mellow intro featuring beautiful female vocals and soaring keyboards, a mid-tempo with a bombastic atmosphere follows, I love the howling slide-guitar and the wonderful classical orchestrations. The strong duo vocals by Josh and Heather create an extra dimension. We can also enjoy a fiery guitar solo and a dreamy final part with fragile work on guitar and piano and soaring keyboards, what a tasteful and elaborate composition! The promising high level can also be found on the rest of this CD, due to the dynamics and varied instrumentation: compelling and bombastic with duo-vocals, an accellaration with lush Hammond waves, a beautiful violin solo, subtle bagpipe play and wonderful kebyoards in Walk With A Storm, warm vocals, fragile piano and very moving violin, quite intense violin work in Find The Sun, from dreamy with piano to compelling with sensitive electric guitar in Silver Glass and a kind of 'symphonic rock and roll' in Dreaming: a catchy rhythm, fat guitar and powerful duo-vocals. Myhighlight is the song Further From Home: a great build-up, from dreamy with piano, soaring keyboards and sensitive guitar to a compelling rhythm, culminating in a fiery eruption with howling guitar runs, splendid! Then a mid-tempo that leads to a 'grand finale' with again howling guitar and beautiful classical orchestrations, this is Progheaven!

I have heard a lot of albums and I have seen some concerts but I am pleasantly surprised that Mostly Autumn has reached this high level, to me this sounds as their best effort.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars As usual, this double "limited edition" CD set is a bit too long to make it fully interesting. I guess that the standard edition will do for most of MA fans; but when I see the very limited amount of reviews for this album, I wonder if there are still many out there.

The second CD has to be considered exactly for what it is. A collector item with several good moments. "Open Road" maybe...In this one Heather is sharing the lead vocals. Since she has to share this role in quite a few songs, I can only be pleased to be able to her beautiful voice (same in "Gaze").

This CD is also mellower, folkier than the first one. In some sort it can be considered as a return to the roots. "Broken Soldier" perfectly fits in this perspective : a soft ballad with a great guitar finale. I guess you know the story...My favourite track of this bonus CD is "Further From Home". A great track fully dominated by a superb guitar solo. I really like this guy, even if the influence of Gilmour is obvious and at times irritating for some of you. The last section contains some beautiful vocals (both leading and backings). It is actually another interpretation of "Fading Colours" (in terms of vocals). Just great.

""Fading Colours" opens the standard CD version brilliantly. It is definitely in-line with their best work. Do not search any further to find the best song of the album. Wonderful vocal harmonies like we are used to. And after this, the listener will have the joy to discover "Half A World". Another typical MA number with again a fabulous guitar solo. How much I like these guitar moments. So emotional... Thank you Josh.

"Pocket Watch" is a bit less catchy but "Blue Light" brings us back to the marvelous voice of Heather. It is the soft side of the band which is featured here but the melody is so pleasant... This song is of course punctuated with a brilliant guitar break. But this is no surprise, right ?

"Walk With A Storm" is purely folkish oriented. Splendid violin during an energetic finale. A classic MA song. Another one. Same feeling for "Find The Sun". Soft-rock with sweet and tranquil violin. A bit mellowish to be honest. It is all the contrary for "Ghost". After a weird intro sung by Josh, the wonderful chorus comes at the rescue (thanks Heather). What a pity that the whole of this track is so unbalanced !

"Broken" is not a very song. Press next to get to "Silver Glass". As usual, MA will place almost the longest numbers at the end of the album. But these ones won't be to remember.

This album is decent follow-up to "Storms Over Still Waters" (my MA fave). The second part of the standard release is somewhat weaker. They could have released a very good one CD effort if they had picked up the best tracks of CD 2 and replace some of the numbers to be found on their one CD release (sounds a bit complicated, right ?). I really look forward to go and see them next December (Spirit of 66, of course).

Three stars.

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars I just can’t get into this album. Even though I’ve been a big Mostly Autumn fan since the first time I heard “Heroes Never Die” and “Evergreen”, this batch of songs just doesn’t do much for me. And I call it a batch of songs and not an album because that’s what it sounds like. There’s no continuity to speak of, something fans have pretty much come to expect from these guys.

The lineup is mostly the same, with the exception of a new keyboardist. But there’s always enough going on in a Mostly Autumn arrangement that one musician isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference one way or another (with the exception of the still- awesome Heather Findlay of course, who is pretty much indispensable).

And that’s the one thing you have to give these guys credit for – their musicianship. There are an awful lot of talented musicians both as members and as guests on this any every other Mostly Autumn album, and the sonic richness of the music and outstanding studio production has to be appreciated.

But beyond that, the innovation and passion and novelty are just not there this time. This is a labor of must, not of love. I would imagine there was a recording contract obligation deadline involved here.

Not that there’s anything horribly amiss – there isn’t. Any maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe if Findlay farted in the middle of a track or Bryan Josh had a guitar string break or there were a few off-key notes then at least I’d know these guys were actually alive and not propped up mailing this thing in from no-engagement land. But there isn’t, so I don’t. Every note is precise, every tempo change and rhythm well-orchestrated. Kind of reminds me of an Explorer’s Club album in that respect – so perfect you just don’t like it. Kind of like that girl you knew in school who looked so much like a model and was so poised and perfect that all the guys seemed to have an innate instinct to avoid her, and today she’s a middle-aged spinster working at a bookstore and stuffing envelopes for political campaigns on weekends.

So I guess what I’m saying is that this thing needs some dirt, some flaws, maybe some secreted bodily fluids spilled on it to give it some life. The opening track “Fading Colours” is quintessential Mostly Autumn – soaring guitars from Josh, Findlay’s gorgeous voice mixed with his, and a rhythmic hook that keeps you listening until the last note. Great stuff, and obviously written as a single. A great and promising beginning. And “Half a World” is a decent slower number, although it seems a bit early in a two-disc album to be slowing things down so that people on the floor can slow-dance. Whatever.

But that’s about it. Shocking – a two-disc set that shoots its wad in the first twelve minutes. The acoustic brooding ballad “Gaze” on disc two prominently features Findlay’s voice without Josh’s, which is a definite plus but otherwise it’s not really an exceptional track. And “Softer than Brown” is a decent closer with the Josh and Findlay in a duet with a tense guitar outro that leaves the listener hanging a bit (probably intended as a cliffhanger for the next album, I suppose). The rest of the album sounds like one well-produced filler track after another. Unfortunately there’s nearly two hours of this in total.

I really can’t recommend this much, especially considering the price and the amount of time you’d have to invest in listening to the whole thing a couple of times. If you are one of those lipstick-goth angst-ridden teen types who fancies themselves a Mostly Autumn fan then you’ll probably like this because the music will provide a nice aural backdrop to your angst-ing. But if you listen to these guys to see what they will come up with next that is new and fresh, keep looking. You won’t find much here. Two stars.


Review by Hercules
4 stars This could so easily have been a complete masterpiece, but it just falls short. Sure, it's a departure from the delicious Celtic, folky, mountaineering & Tolkein inspired early material, but the band have moved on. Gone is keyboards wizard Iain Jennings and into the band comes Chris Johnson, multi-instrumentalist and singer.

Highlights are the classic Fading Colours, Half a World, Walk With a Storm, Find the Sun (featuring some great violin work from Peter Knight of Steeleye Span) and Silver Glass, though this is a bit of a shock until you get used to Chris Johnson's voice. It clearly shows his potential as a songwriter, something the band need now Iain Jennings is no longer around to provide variety to Bryan Josh's offerings. But there are a couple of real duds too; Pocket Watch is an awful attempt at Syd Barrett era psychadelia with a banal, singalong chorus (Bryan Josh wrote it and loves it, apparently!) and Ghosts isn't great (especially not live).

However, the bonus 2nd CD, which might be expected to be filler, has some real gems on it. Leaving aside Science and Machinery (not MA at all), Open Road and Yellow Time (an Odin Dragonfly track originally) are very fine and Gaze, built round a peculiar and repetitive keyboard phrase and featuring some fine gentle violin, is magnificent, featuring one of Findlay's most exquisite vocals. All these last 3 should have been on the main CD in my opinion, replacing Pocket Watch and Ghosts. The rest of the Bonus Tracks are of high quality and Further From Home was promoted to the final single CD.

As ever, the entire band play quite superbly and the production is slick with no rough edges at all. It's a bit less heavy than Storms but still a damn fine effort from the best prog band currently operating. With more judicious track selection for the main CD, that could easily have have rated 5*. However, the limited edition double CD is worth an easy 4* and is the one to hunt down - if you can get anyone to part with their copy. Do not hold your breath and don't apply here!

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Firstly I should make it clear that this review is based on the standard 1 disc version as opposed to the limited edition 2 disc set.

After the excellent Passengers, Storms Over Still Water though having some good moments was a bit of a disappointment. I'm pleased to say that Heart Full of Sky is a vast improvement and return to form with overall much stronger songs. In fact I would go as far to say that it is a strong contender for their best yet.

Often cited as being the next Pink Floyd, while no doubt helping the band gain some much needed exposure, is not altogether true. Sure there's Floyd influences in their sound, particularly on their earlier albums but with each release they seem to have moved further away from that. There's still some of the Folk influences present, though again less with each new album, Mostly Autumn these days are a lot of the time a much heavier proposition. However there's still plenty of room for the quieter more reflective moments usually sung by Heather Findlay who has developed into a fine Vocalist over the last few albums. Thankfully on more recent albums she takes far more lead Vocals over Bryan Josh whose deadpan delivery has always been a weak point of the band for me. Okay he's a useful foil to Findlay for backing vocals but doesn't have the character in his voice to be a great singer, though admittedly much improved over recent years.

The instrumentation here is very rich with lots of dynamics. Simple but effective rhythmic structures lay the foundations for lush Keyboards and powerful Guitars with some lovely solos from Josh. Acoustic Guitar, Flute (less so these days) and Violin add the more folky elements and as on Broken the sound is more orchestrated.

The album gets off to a great 1 - 2 start with the powerful Fading Colours, Mostly Autumn at their most bombastic and is one of the album highlights. Nearly as good though more restrained is Half a World with a lovely vocal from Findlay. Pocket Watch is a fairly mundane mid tempo Rocker; much better is Blue Light, one of the quieter moments, again with another strong performance from Findlay.

Another album highlight follows with the nearly 8 minute Walk With a Storm. Starting slowly, but powerfully with a unison Findlay/Josh vocal, the track builds to a mid-section climax with a tasty Violin solo from guest, Peter Knight and another searing Guitar solo, taking us towards the end.

Things calm down again for Find the Sun, a hauntingly beautiful atmospheric piece and good use being made of a melancholic sounding Violin; a lovely track. Ghost also starts off atmospherically on the verse, some nice guitar picking from Josh, also taking the vocal until the track explodes for the chorus with Findlay taking over. The previously mentioned Broken follows, tastefully played and sung throughout and the same can be said of Silver Glass.

Further From Home, the penultimate song has a long instrumental start, once again another nice Josh solo and there's Angela Gordon's Flute! Not used nearly enough on this album which is a shame. The track then revisits the theme of opening track Fading Colours which might have been a nice way to tie up the album. That job is left to Dreaming, at 8 and a half minutes the longest track on the album. Another powerful track with lots of tempo/time shifts keeping it interesting; a worthy closer.

At the time of writing, Mostly Autumn are due to release a new album in the next few days. Hopefully it will maintain the quality set by this one.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As we fade away / Every single day / Is dying away in the sky

And we're nowhere near Kansas anymore / We're not even over the rainbow

Well, this band has gone unnoticed to me since I found that the music was somewhat in the middle of something, not truly south or north . or just simply put, most of the compositions they make do not stir my emotion. While, as you know it, that I believe "music is emotion". My experience with the band started back when I purchased directly from their label (Cyclops) an album called "For All We Shared" in 1999. As I wrote at this site, I started listening again this album 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. That debut was heavily influenced by PINK FLOYD, STEVE HACKETT and FOCUS even though their 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.

True North .

That was then in the beginning .and now with their seventh studio album they took a firmed standpoint by adopting "more" on Pink Floyd flavor, combined with their roots in folk music. You might say that this is a combined style of Floyd and Joan Baez or Fleetwood Mac. But most of their compositions in this album are leaned toward Floydian sounds.

The opening track is well-positioned in the album because it definitely will attract most listeners, be it a long time fan or newbie fact any music buff will probably love this catchy track. "Fading colours" (8:25) opens with soft long sustain keyboard work followed peacefully with Heather Findlay's great voice "As we fade away .". After the first lyrical verse the music is punctuated by keyboard work with nice ambient followed with a blast of music with great energy, in Floydian spirit like "Sorrow" (Floyd's "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" album). The song moves wonderfully in medium beat teamp using brilliant orchestration, and catchy melody. You might imagine that this might be Pink Floyd meets Nightwish but without progressive metal elements. It's a superb song. The ending part with mellow and dark nuance has truly enriched the textures of the music.

"Half a world (4:50)" is a ballad-based music with an intro like Pink Floyd's "Welcome to The Machine" (Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here"). It contains ample Floydian electric guitar work that reminds me to "Time" from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of The Moon". The next track "Pocket watch" (4:20) flows in medium tempo with ambient nuance, like Porcupine Tree or RPWL, with its roots on Pink Floyd style. "Blue light" (4:58) mellow track with nice melody and nice acoustic guitar work augmented with keyboard, featuring Heather Findlay on vocals.

"Walk with a storm" (7:51) starts nicely with guitar riffs followed by guitar work that sounds thicker than previous tracks' guitar work. It flows with male vocals and later in duet style. The combined guitar effects and keyboard work accompanying the vocal is really great and catchy. The song is solid in bringing the music from one segment to another. The interlude part in the middle of the track moves the music into crescendo with great organ / keyboard work while the music runs in faster tempo with higher register notes on vocals. At the end of this interlude is a wonderfully crafted violin solo that makes the music of Mostly Autumn is a "category in its own". I really enjoy the evocative violin work at this ending part of the track, backed by keyboard with symphonic nuance. The ending part is another great segment with wild lead guitar solo. WOW! It's a masterpiece!

"Find the sun" (5:32) is a brilliant track in mellow mood with Heather Findlay on vocal while acoustic piano and violin improvisations play dominant role followed with acoustic guitar as main rhythm section accompanying Heather Findlay's voice. "Ghost" (5:27) continues similar vein with previous track but it has faster tempo and male vocal which then followed by female vocal when the music moves into heavier segment. "Broken" (5:11) is another mellow song with piano touch and beautiful female singing. The song has created excellent nuance with simple composition, catchy melody. It's cool. "Silver glass" (7:12) is nice track with mellow and dark opening by female vocal accompanied by piano and acoustic setting, in catchy melody. The song moves beautifully to full music in electric setting, with Pink Floyd ambient. "Dreaming" (8:36) guitar riffs remind me to The Beatles' "I Want You" even though it's not the same. The song moves from mellow to music with high energy like a straight rocker.

"Science and machinery" (6:00) starts ambient with guitar effects followed by low register notes on male vocals. "Open road" (4:22) is basically a pop song with a bit of rock orientation, followed with "Gaze "(4:48) in similar vein, pop. "Yellow time" (5:11) starts nicely with acoustic guitar and flute that brings the music in medium tempo, acoustic guitar serves as main rhythm section. "Broken soldier" (6:12) is a mellow track with excellent Floydian guitar, while acoustic guitar serves as main rhythm section augmented by keyboard. "Further from home" (6:27) is another brilliantly written track which opens nicely with soft piano touch followed wonderfully by guitar solo which satisfies Pink Floyd fans, really. After the music starts in slow moving tempo, at approx minute 2:00 the music sounds louder than before with even more stunning Floydian guitar work. Well, I believe David Gilmour will be very happy with this track because his style has been wonderfully adopted by the band. I am totally happy with this "almost" instrumental work featuring great guitar solo in excellent flow from soft to heavy and wild guitar work. I am totally nggeblak! (stunned and paralyzed .comfortably numb and dumb!). The ending part of this track is like a reprise of "Fading Colours".

"Bright green" (4:00) is a po rock track. The album concludes with "Softer than brown" (5:02) which has nice acoustic guitar work and great male vocal. The music reminds me to Pink Floyd "Obscured by Clouds" style.

Overall, this is definitely an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Fans of Pink Floyd will find this album is inspiring even though Mostly Autumn does not fully embrace the music of Pink Floyd, but most of their tracks here share similar nuance with Pink Floyd music. Highly recommended album. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars First of all I can't understand the logic behind a double release. Do they want to let people save money by putting the worst tracks on an optional second CD? Do they think that only the hard fans have the right to listen to all their material (the double CD edition was available only if pre-ordered on the MA website)? However I had a lot of expectations for this album, the first double Mostly Autumn and the first after the change of musical direction represented by "Storm Over Still Waters".

Well the first impact was quite disappointing. They didn't impress me at the first shot, something that happened with almost all the previous studio albums, including the non- essential "Lord of the Rings", but at the second try I realized that the songs have found their alternative way. I mean that it was like I had listened to it as much as to the previous albums.

Strange, isn't it? It's like I have perceived the songs at subliminal level, or maybe the songs have elements so common in the 70s prog that it's like I have ever known them.

The "regular" CD is opened by "Fading Colours". The guitar is heavy and this time Gilmour seems to have been forgotten, but the melody is strong and Heather is sublime as usual. Not too different from its predecessor, and now, after years, I can't say immediately if this song is here or in another album as it's a standard MA song.

"Half A Word" starts acoustic with the album title as first sentence.I think it's the best song of both the discs, with connections to Pink Floyd and to Renaissance and a strong early 70s flavor.

I don't like much "Pocket Watch", instead. Not that's totally bad, but it's the kind of Bryan Josh stuff that I like less even if I have to say that's probably the song more similar to David Gilmour that he has written, also in the vocal part. Try to imagine Sir David singing, at least until the chorus, that's the part of the song that I prefer.

"Blue Light" is only an omonimy. It's a slow and dreamy song more in the vein of Sally Oldfield, nothing to do with the orchestral funky of "About Face".

"Walk With A Storm" starts dark, like it was taken from The Wall, but is also very melodic and the vocal duet between Bryan and Heather here works very well. It's another jump back to the 70s.

"Find The Sun" features a guest violin and classic guitar. A temporary return to the origins, as this song could fit well in their debut "For All We Shared".

"Ghost" starts dark but turns immediately into a sort of chorus based on major chords. As often happens Heather sings the chorus and the rest is sung by Bryan. I think that the mood of the chorus is too different from the rest of the song, like they are two different songs tied together.

"Broken" is a long piano/vocals song like some Renaissance's ("At The Harbour" to mention one). A good song well tailored for Heather.

"Silver Glass" Starts like a follow-up of "Broken". One of the most floydian moments of the album until Chris Johnson's voice. She has a very nice voice but I don't understand why using another female vocalist when you have Heather Findlay in the band... Another slow-dreamy-70s song.

"Dreaming" belongs to the rock side of Bryan Josh that's as I have written before the side that I like less, however the song is quite hypnotic and the chorus is one of those which remain into your mind even after hours.

About the second CD I had the opportunity to listen to it when borrowed from a friend, but I don't remember it as much as it's needed for a review. I've been impressed by the first track, "Science and Machinery" because it's different from the usual MA songs, and I remember to have appreciated a lot "Gaze". However let's ignore the "Limited Edition". Sticking on the first CD it's more than just good, specially because of the early 70s thing, but not enough to be considered an absolute "excellent addition"

3.5 stars more or less.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Heart Full of Sky" is not one of the most popular Mostly Autumn albums but is quite a relaxing journey with Findlay sounding gorgeous on vocals and some majestic symphonic prog.

Fading Colours is a majesty of symphonic strings and Findlay's golden tones. An epic composition with grandiose orchestration and the longest song on the album; perhaps the best on offer here.

Half A World a bit repetitious but builds nicely into some uplifting melodies and Josh's soaring guitar solo, always worth waiting for. The key change helps too but the lyrics could have been better.

Pocket Watch has a strong steady beat and male vox and a dirty guitar sound grinding along with some piano lines. A very different sound for the band, more accessible as they inject some rock into the album.

Blue Light has a laid back soft approach with reverberating keyboards, chimes and gentle guitars. Findlay is beautiful on these dreamy ballads and harmonises well with other vocals. The flute is gorgeous and overall it is among the more melancholy compositions of the band. The lead break at the end is incredible!

Walk With A Storm is another of the longer tracks, a slow track with heavier guitar distortion and flute. Josh and Heather sing a duet and it has a darker feel in the lyrics and melody; "I don't want to see her die, I just want to walk by her side, on and on we're gonna fly, through blazing summer rain". It is an odd song with crawling tempo and ominous musicianship. I particularly like the shimmering organ and overall atmosphere on this one, especially when it speeds up and violin enters, and definitely that very bleak melody that peaks towards the end. This is the band at their most darkest, and it is a grand track on this album, a definitive highlight.

Find The Sun has more dark stormy atmospheres, beginning with dramatic violin, piano tinkling and thunder crashes. The guitar tones are as crystal as Heather's gentle tones. Again this one is dreamy with lulling melodies and sleepy musicianship. Peter Knight on violin is a master and shines brilliantly on this track.

Ghost has whispered vox of Josh at first and then builds into a new time sig as Findlay joins in. The creepy melodies are haunting and mysterious. I like the way the sig changes in this and the tune is catchy. It ends with quite an ethereal melody that is meant to have that ghostly atmosphere.

Broken is a melancholy sad solo from Heather with a lonely piano. She sounds serene and composed softly singing about coming to terms with isolation and loss, as a mother and child are separated.

Silver Glass begins with piano and flute beauty, and then gorgeous vocals from Chris Johnson. The imagery in the lyrics is compelling; "there's a glow beneath and its seething through the dark, where the mind and the soul have no boundary at all, shining silver glass in a void and covered sky." I really love Chris's vocals that are angelic and atmospheric. Josh launches into a great guitar solo and enhances the composition. It sounds like Pink Floyd and yet retains that folk precocity.

Further From Home follows next, another melancholy track opening with piano and Uilleann pipes. Josh augments it with nice string bends that soar heavenly, and sounding like Gilmour. This is mainly an instrumental and a very emotional piece of music. The guitar domination is awesome, perhaps some of the bluesiest Mostly Autumn music. Later vox return with the same glorious melody heard earlier.

Last song on the journey is Dreaming, sung by Findlay and Josh, with some heavy guitar riffs driving it along. This is the heaviest track on the album, especially the guitars and vocals style. The lyrics are thought provoking; "How can you fly when you've got no wings, and there's no escape from the burning flames." The lead break comes in as a new time sig floats along and Findlay returns.

Overall this album is one of the more melancholy albums after a blazing start. The songs are dreamy and have dark nuances. It is certainly a decent album to plunge into, and very lengthy, with some of the band's most beautiful and stirring compositions.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 611

"Heart Full Of Sky" is the seventh studio album of Mostly Autumn that was released in 2006. It's the only album of the band to feature the multi-instrumentalist Chris Johnson, at the time, and the first to feature Olivia Sparnenn as an official band's member. It's also their last album to feature Angela Gordon who left the band for personal reasons and Andrew Jennings who left Mostly Autumn, at the time, due to other commitments. This is a bit different work of them.

The line up on "Heart Full Of Sky" is Bryan Josh (lead vocals, lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, piano, keyboards and drum programming), Heather Findlay (lead and backing vocals, 12 string acoustic guitars and percussion), Chris Johnson (lead and backing vocals, piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, glockenspiel and drum programming), Liam Davison (slide guitars), Angela Gordon (backing vocals, flute, clarinet, piano and recorders), Olivia Sparnenn (backing vocals), Andy Smith (bass guitars) and Andrew Jennings (drums). The album had also the participation of Troy Donockley (Uilleann pipes and low whistle), Peter Knight (backing vocals and violin), David Moore (Hammond organ) and Anne-Marie Helder, Roger Newport and Mark Gordon (backing vocals), as guest musicians.

I must say that I'm reviewing the normal CD Version and not the 2 CD limited version. "Heart Full Of Sky" has eleven tracks. The first track "Fading Colours" written by Josh is a wonderful track, very powerful and full of great vocal harmonies and with a wonderful job by all band's members. This is the great highlight of the album and one of the best compositions ever made by the band, until now. The second track "Half A World" written by Findlay is a very beautiful song in the typical and traditional line of many Mostly Autumn's songs. It's a wonderful acoustic ballad beautifully sung by Heather and with a magnificent guitar solo. The third track "Pocket Watch" written by Josh is a less catchy song and less good than the previous two. It's a nice rock song very well performed that flows in a medium tempo with its roots on the influence of the traditional style of the band. The fourth track "Blue Light" written by Johnson is another extremely beautiful ballad once more superiorly sung by Heather. It's a very good melancholic composition with nice keyboards, gentle guitar and good flute work. This is a song that reminds me the pop rock folk band The Corrs. The fifth track "Walk With A Storm" written by Josh is a slow rock song with heavy guitar performance and nice flute work. It's a harmonious song with good lyrics and melody, magnificently sung by Josh and Findlay, as a duet. This is probably the darker song on the album and one of its highlights. The sixth track "Find The Sun" written by Josh and Findlay is another song with some dark atmosphere that begins with thunderstorms and features a dramatic violin performance and a classic guitar work. This is another dreaming song with great melody and musicianship. The seventh track "Ghost" written by Josh is another song that begins with a mysterious dark atmosphere but that turns suddenly into a great dense musical ambient very well supported by a powerful choral work. Josh sings the lead parts and Heather sings the choral parts. The eighth track "Broken" written by Josh and Findlay is a nice and pretty good song very sad, sentimental and melancholic only performed by the voice of Heather and a lonely piano. The ninth track "Silver Glass" written by Johnson is a wonderful song with a catchy melody and a mellow dark musical atmosphere. The song opens with the voice of Johnson very well accompanied by piano and acoustic work, which flows beautifully until the end. The tenth track "Further From Home" written by Josh has a Pink Floyd's melancholic opening where the guitar of Josh sounds like Gilmour as never sounded. Suddenly the song explodes with the same melody heard earlier on the opening track, giving us the feeling that we are in presence of "Fading Colours - Part 2". This would be the perfect way to close the album. The eleventh and last track "Dreaming" written by Josh is the lengthiest track on the album and is another powerful song with lots of tempo and time musical changes. It's an excellent rock song that moves from the mellow to high energetic parts. It's a song with great vocal performance and heavy guitar riffs that shows the other side of Josh.

Conclusion: "Heart Full Of Sky" is, without any doubt, a great album from a great band. Who knows very well, like me, the musical career of this great band, knows that Mostly Autumn has made a great musical progress since the band was founded. And this album is no more than the continuity of a great musical career. It's true that "Heart Full Of Sky" isn't probably their best musical effort. I think the best is "The Last Bright Light". However, I'm perfectly convinced that it was very close of being a masterpiece and that only failed by some few details. This is a band at the top of their game with first class musicianship, singing, song writing and production. The music has depth and diversity and the delivery is assured and confident. So, "Heart Full Of Sky" is the darkest and most symphonic Mostly Autumn's album, until now. The band departed from the Celtic folk influences and had moved to the symphonic rock, which isn't fatally a bad thing.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars I can imagine the new epic double album from Mostly Autumn surprising a lot of people. Certainly, the majestic Pink Floyd stylisms are still there, as are the folky and Celtic elements, but this time the band have really pushed the boat out and become a great deal more adventurous. At various ti ... (read more)

Report this review (#113405) | Posted by Politician | Saturday, February 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars What a disappointment 'Storms over still water' was. Would this great band find their direction again and avoid making too loud rocking mediocre songs and replace it with their unique Celtic and Floydian music? That was the question I asked myself firmly when I laid my hand on their new alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#112914) | Posted by Theo Verstrael | Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars OK, at first I didn't want to write a review, because those who know me know that I'm a big fan of this band, and I could be accused to be too much of a friend to be neutral. I agree with those who say that Angela is much underused, but hey, you can't force them to use a flute just for the sake ... (read more)

Report this review (#108258) | Posted by Anthony | Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars While I love Mostly Autumn's other albums, this is very poor. It has not got any tracks that stand out as great, and some that are well below par, especially for this band. A line up change has happened since their previous album with Chris Johnson replacing Iain Jennings on keyboard. But in f ... (read more)

Report this review (#108063) | Posted by laghtnans | Friday, January 19, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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