I suppose you could say we’re a little late to the market with our review of the latest offering from Mostly Autumn, but then again I suppose you could say we’re fairly new as an organisation; but also the album was very late released onto my chosen music platform Google Play Music.
Anyhow, let’s get right on and review.
The latest release – White Rainbow – is more of a return to their roots – a formula that works. That could be taken either way, but trust me, with Mostly Autumn that’s something that pleases me.
As a great fan of the first two albums (when Bob Faulds was still on fiddle) I was always left wanting more for the albums that followed. I didn’t get “Ghost Moon Orchestra” – it felt confused, but then in 2014 “Dressed in Voices” began to take a turn back to the folkier roots, whilst still keeping their Pink Floyd leanings.
Now it’s 2019 and the first album since the death of former Mostly Autumn guitarist Liam Davison – White Rainbow – is out
Starting with Procession featuring some beautiful Uilleann pipe work from Troy Donockley and setting the mood for a rather dark album.
Viking Funeral leads us on with elements of Clannad. It almost lulls you into thinking you’re about to get the same sort of track again until it kicks in with powerful wailing guitars, synths, some great hammond work, and Bryan’s vocals setting the scene.
Bryan’s gritty vocals against Olivia’s powerful soprano forms a beautiful contrast.
Burn is a slower affair after the previous two tracks. Olivia taking over for this one and showing her amazing soprano range and lifting the mood of the album.
Another lighter track follows in Run for the Sun. Again Olivia takes the vocals in what turns into a guitar solo which fits the track very well.
My personal favourite on the album follows in Western Skies. Starting as a beautiful ballad with a great piano sound and a very sweet opening section before building in textbook Mostly Autumn style. The epic end section reminds me very much of Mother Nature with it’s unpredictable chord changes and orchestration.
Into the Stars lightens the mood slightly, with Olivia’s vocals flying high through the mix. This track harked back to the Passengers album for me, again classic Mostly Autumn.
If I had to pick a least favourite song on the album, Up would be it. It’s not to say it’s a bad song, it just doesn’t cry out to me like the rest of the album.
The Undertow has a much brighter and airier feel than the rest of the album and really lifts your mood before the very acoustic and open feeling Gone. It was lovely to hear Angela Gordon’s flute make a return to a MA album.
The title track follows. White Rainbow has poignant and brilliant lyrics reminding us how powerful Mother Nature is. Split into sections, this song’s duet middle section is one of the high points of this album. Bryan’s gruff vocals against Olivia’s powerful soprano forms a beautiful contrast. The track wraps up with a happy note, topping the timer at just under 20 minutes. Another favourite of mine from this album.
The final song, Young, has a very obvious theme behind it and lyrically feels like it could be from the first two albums – it wraps up a great addition to the Mostly Autumn studio catalogue and a great album to put into your collection.
Very typical Mostly Autumn, nothing too different, but as always it delivers the goods beautifully.