Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Some sparkles, some rumbles
on 26 June 2001
A mixed bag, this album. Donnie Munro's penultimate with the band, and probably the one that got the most mainstream notice, spawning a couple of singles (neither of which got anywhere in the UK, at least) and several of their more catchy tunes in their live performances. The big sounds and lush production of "The Big Wheel" are evident here, though not yet grown to such outrageous proportions as in "Mara". The two singles, "Wonderful" and "The Greatest Flame", are deceptively simple melodies underpinned by sparkling instrumentation, and are guaranteed to raise goose-bumps. "Move a Mountain" is an epic, modern protest song in the tradition of "Protect and Survive", whilst "Ard" ("High") is the most thunderous Gaelic rock-out you can imagine.
Like "The Cutter and the Clan", this is an album with a social conscience, and like "Cutter", although the stories are inherently Scottish, they take a global perspective on the Scot's place in a struggling ecosystem - in one breath sounding a note of caution ("Move a Mountain" and the title track), in the next breath rejoicing ("Song of the Earth").
There are great songs on this album. Some of Runrig's greatest, in fact. Unfortunately there are a lot of average songs in between the great ones, and this is the only real weakness of the album. No *bad* tracks as such, just ones that it's easy to forget. Still, a worthy successor to "The Big Wheel", and one that did much to raise the profile of Runrig in the UK. And I defy anyone to listen to "The Greatest Flame" and not get the melody stuck in your head!