Our new album 'The History Of Mr Puffin Man' is starting to get some good reviews in lots of different countries. Here are links to some of those reviews and where possible we have provided English translations. Please note that these translations may not be perfect!
If you write music reviews for a magazine or blog and would like to review our latest album, please contact us via our contact page giving details/links to the publication you write for.
11 May 2017
Review from Germany in German by Jürgen Meurer in Empire magazine issue 120 http://www.empiremusic.de
The Light Afternoon is a British duo consisting of singer Annette Appleton and multi-instrumentalist Steve Newland. The multicolored Digipak presentation suggests that this might be a symphonic folk album. And that is exactly what it is. Newland is obviously a fan of pastoral tones, because with his ever present keyboard sounds, accentuated timing and use of the Mellotron, he ensures the appropriate atmosphere. But it is not just the keys, but also the guitar which elicits the fine tones which at times sound a little like Steve Hackett.
In the instrumental portions of this album, there are many beautiful arrangements to be discovered and enjoyed by the fan of symphonic music. The vocals, on the other hand, may polarise opinion a bit more. One should try to establish beforehand whether the voice of Ms. Appleton pleases. Since the singing passages are considerable, this might play a part. The band Cirrus Bay could serve as a rough guide.
Many thanks to Jürgen for his review and his permission allowing us to translate and publish it on our website.
25 February 2017
Review from Finland in Finnish by Jiikoo Juntunen on Colossus.fl https://colossus.fi/ow/blogs/post/134/the-light-afternoon
The Light Afternoon is multi-instrumentalist-composer-lyricist Steve Newland and vocalist Annette Appleton's joint music project. Their first album 'My Parallel Life' was released in 2012, the second in 2014 was 'Among The Family Tree' which was reviewed in Colossus issue 47. The second album was a quite good achievement, but this third album is another leap forward.
As before all the music is written and played by Steve Newland. I discussed this with him via email because I wanted to know who played the strings and orchestral backing, but as is often the case these days they are samples played on the keyboard. But unlike the "good old days" of the Mellotron my ear is unable to distinguish these things. Being a man of the "old school" it is difficult for me to accept this, however in the case of this disc, one is forced to admit that the end result justifies the means. Af- ter all, all the guitar parts are played with a real guitar!
The vocals of Annette Appleton are beautiful and bright, occasionally reminiscent of Annie Haslam or Kate Bush.
The album has six longish tracks, it is hard to say which is the best. A Boy On A Farm is possibly the rockiest song but in a very sophisticated manner. Classical mu- sic influences are of course here too and the double bass sound brings in a little Jazz. The Lord Of Amber and Grey contains more Jazz influences, but remains with- in the boundaries of symphonic prog. Solstice I Named Her begins with a piano and vocal duet, and builds up with great orchestration, if someone had told me there is a real big orchestra playing here, I would easily believe it.
The Buffer Zone has a similar structure to the previous song, but succeeds in being significantly different in composition and arrangement, the sound of the flute creates a nice atmosphere. The three parts of Mystery Plays unite into one work and is the longest and perhaps the best track on the album. It begins beautifully minimal and gradually grows huge and heavy, telling a story of what happened in ancient times and of a king's assassination. and ends with a nice big vibrant piece, which also con- tains the longest example of Newland's guitar playing. Coal Iron Crops & Tea is a fine way to end the album.
I would like to see and hear The Light Afternoon's music played by a real orchestra, but yes this album is highly recommended for lovers of melodic prog.
Many thanks to Jiikoo for his review and permission allowing us to translate and publish it on our website.
16th February 2017
Review from Poland in Polish by Wojciech Lewandowski on Gitara Rysowane http://gitararysowane.pl/gitara-8-the-light-afternoon/
February 8th of this year sees the release of the third album from the British band The Light Afternoon. The successor to "My Parallel Life" and "Among The Family Tree" is titled "The History Of Mr Puffin Man" and takes listeners on a journey through subtle melancholy sounds.
The Light Afternoon is a duo from Bournemouth in Dorset featuring Steve Newland (guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, production) and Annette Appleton (vocals). They are studio-based musicians who release albums at regular intervals. Music and lyrics are written by Steve. Some of the lyrics were even written by him in the eight- ies and have been tailored to the needs of the new band.
"The History Of Mr Puffin Man" is a very English album. The album begins and ends with sounds from nature which evoke Pink Floyd's Grantchester Meadows. Listening to this CD with your eyes closed, you can smell the meadow where the boy is, in the opening song of the album "A Boy On A Farm". The idyllic mood of this composition perfectly introduces the listener to the music of this album, which is characterised by a quiet melancholy atmosphere. Although "The History Of Mr Puffin Man" is a very meditative album, it also contains much more dynamic and sublime passages. Lis- tening to the album is calming but never boring.
The album "The History Of Mr Puffin Man" consists of six sophisticated pieces. The longest of them, the three part "Mystery Plays" is woven from smaller fragments and seems to be the central point of the album. In essence, this song is characteristic of what is best in progressive and symphonic rock. In this track you will hear the most beautiful guitar solo on the album.
The soft voice of Annette Appleton, whose sound is reminiscent of the vocals of Re- naissance's singer Annie Haslam, embellishes the album's arrangements. The Light Afternoon's singer's voice is soothing and peaceful, which perfectly fits the mood of the album.
The album "The History Of Mr Puffin Man" enchants not only by its music, but also by the artwork done by vocalist Annette Appleton. The fold-out mini poster with lyrics is an enlarged version of the attractive cover image. The images inside the digipak evoke the musical atmosphere of the CD and refer to the individual track lyrics.
"The History Of Mr Puffin Man" is the best album so far by The Light Afternoon. The album is excellent to listen to and hard to remove from the player. This is an album for those who appreciate a classic progressive sound filled with melancholy and nostalgia.
Many thanks to Wojciech for his review.