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The Wishing Tree


Review by Gary Hill

Ostara is the new album from The Wishing Tree. The duo is Steve Rothery (of Marillion) and Hannah Stobart. The music here is a great combination of progressive rock with folk and pop rock – and even a little modern country in the mix. The album is just plain wonderful and is one of my favorites released in 2009. I highly recommend it for any fans of modern progressive rock and even modern pop music – and anyone who like classy melodic sounds.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review

Coming in with acoustic guitar, this works out to a sound that's part folk rock and part psychedelic. The mid-track jam brings some progginess. Overall, this is a classy mainstream cut that's a nice introduction to the disc.

With more of a rocking element to it, this is another killer cut. It’s accessible and yet powerfully artistic. The Tori Amos comparisons are still here, but less apparent and yet there’s almost a modern country music element to this in some ways. It’s another strong piece – although perhaps not as obviously proggy.
Hollow Hills
A pretty and evocative cut, this is quite powerful. It’s more folk oriented, but also more prog-like than the one that preceded it. I hear Renaissance on this, but also early Genesis. As good as the two earlier cuts were, I like this even more. When the arrangement is enhanced later, I can hear this Genesis element even more prominently – and yet I can also pick up hints of Pink Floyd. 
Seventh Sign
Starting with more of that modern country music texture, this moves out quickly into something closer to the first two numbers. It’s another good track, but perhaps not quite up to the level of the ones that preceded it. That said, the cool bluesy guitar part (a bit reminiscent of Pink Floyd) and powered up rendition of the central arrangement go along way to pulling this up there. 
Based on a more folk-like proposition, as this grows it again resembles Pink Floyd quite a bit. 
Less proggy and more accessible in a lot of ways, this is no-less potent as a piece of music. It’s definitely more akin to alternative rock and perhaps less progressive rock in nature. 
A more energetic track than the one that preceded it, this is another piece that seems to have a bit of modern country music in its midst. It’s another cool cut. 
Very folk oriented, this is a delicate and intricate piece of music. It’s quite beautiful and quite gentle. 
Fly (Live)
Here we get a strong live performance of the earlier cut on the set. It seems more prog-oriented here.
Ostara (Live)
This live rendition is quite close to the studio take that opens the set and serves as its title track.
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