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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loreena Mckennitt - singer/storyteller par excellence
The 'Book of Secrets' is a fantastic album. 'The Mummer's Dance' sets you on your way, and 'The Highwayman' tells a great tale of love and personal self sacrifice by the Inn keeper's daughter. I find that 'Dante's Prayer' provides the most haunting finish to a superb collection of songs, staying with me long after the album has played out. I've since picked up 2 more...
Published on 9 May 2000

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2 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music for Tourists
I saw part of Loreena McKennitt's excellent performance at Cambridge Folk Festival 2012 (on Sky Arts, unfortunately, so I had to endure the ghastly Zoe Ball). McKennitt has a wonderful voice, plays nice harp and performed with a great band, particularly the uillean pipes player. So, I thought I'd get what appeared from the Amazon reviews to be the best of her records...
Published on 11 Aug. 2012 by Cason


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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loreena Mckennitt - singer/storyteller par excellence, 9 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
The 'Book of Secrets' is a fantastic album. 'The Mummer's Dance' sets you on your way, and 'The Highwayman' tells a great tale of love and personal self sacrifice by the Inn keeper's daughter. I find that 'Dante's Prayer' provides the most haunting finish to a superb collection of songs, staying with me long after the album has played out. I've since picked up 2 more of Mckennitt's albums, Parallel Dreams' and 'The Mask and Mirror'. Mckennitt is in a class by her self with a most beautful voice to narrate the tale. If you are considering buying one of her albums, start with this one.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celtic international, 20 April 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: THE BOOK OF SECRETS (Audio CD)
This is far from Loreena McKennitt's first album, but it may be her breakthrough album. In this recording she has captured a glorious cross-section of Celtic-influenced international-themed songs. The 'chart topper' on the album is 'The Mummer's Dance', ironically not in the version that was heard on most American radio stations (that is a souped-up version released on CD-single, which was also used for the theme music for a short-lived television series called 'Legacy'). This has the rhythms, instrumentation and lyric qualities one has come to associate with modern Celtic tunes (a la Enya, Marie Brennan, Clannad, etc.).

Other songs are modern-day retellings of folk songs: 'The Highwayman' is a decidedly anti-British-occupation song, in which the heroine sacrifices her life to save her lover who is about to be trapped -- the Celtic peoples have learned from Roman times to the present to drink deep from the cup of sorrow, and this song (among others on the album)is a generous portion for that cup.

My favourite song, however, must be 'Skelling' -- it conjures up visions of monastic vows and solitude, a journey into life's vocation that requires both inward and outward travel far from home, never to return, but ultimately being content and safe in the community. Sweet and melancholy, the learned monk, reminiscent of Saint Francis for his love of animals, is essentially giving his final will and testament, a most spiritual treasure beyond valuing, from someone with vows of poverty.

Interspersed are several instrumental interludes, with differing characters (some decidedly oriental, others western, all however bearing a strong Celtic stamp).

This is a perfect introduction to McKennitt's work, but do not stop there. Her previous work is well worth exploring.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've discovered her - at last, 18 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
There was one track of hers on the Celtic Chillout collection. It was The Mummers' Dance, an extraordinary track. I have just purchased a pre-release promotional CD of The Book Of Secrets, from which the aforementioned track comes from. The whole album is extraordinary.
There is so much to write about this album that if I tried to express everything I wanted to say, I would lose myself in an ever-decreasing spiral. Let's just say that Ms McKennitt has a very beautiful and original voice, the subjects of her compositions are varied to say the least; there are lots of influences which show themselves in the lyrics and the melodies; the musicianship is truly masterful and she has produced a near-perfect album.
One reviewer of her music suggested that it should be experienced whilst having sex. I think I would rather pay attention to her first and keep my partner waiting .....!
This is an exemplary album and a good way to get into Ms McKennitts brand of Celtic music - as I have. One can only wonder why it has taken me so long to find out about her.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - Why are her albums so hard to find in UK?, 20 Feb. 2004
By 
Mr. Lance Parkington (Malvern, Worcs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
For those who like Clannad and other Celtic music, Loreena is a real gem. Her voice is very captivating and now I prefer her to Clannad and Enya! Book of Secrets is probably her best album and every single track is excellent. I've had to order most of her albums from US since virtually no one in UK stocks them. I wonder why?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celtic and Eastern Blend, 26 Feb. 2004
This review is from: THE BOOK OF SECRETS (Audio CD)
I was given this CD, after listening to someone elses copy. Loreena has a wonderfull clear voice very easy to listen to. I find the exotic Morrocan/Indian type of blend to this Celtic based music lifts it and makes it more exciting and very different, maybe dare I say not as morose as some Celtic music I have heard !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Innovative writing & voice-as-instrument singing, 30 Dec. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
Loreena Mckennit has a genuinely unique output, in that so much of what she records is obviously personal to her, is arranged in a sometimes remarkably innovative fashion and is sung so that her voice, exceptional in itself, is not so much accompanied by the instrumentation but is rather an integral part of that instrumentation.
The originality she demonstrates on every one of her CDs constitutes a feat both of musicianship and of a real human sympathy very few of today's singers can match.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loreena Keeps Getting Better, 30 Nov. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
If you have listened to Loreena Mckennit previously, and enjoyed her work you will not be disappointed. This is her best work yet. Wonderful sounds and melodies and versions of old fashioned ballads. An album you won't forget. Buy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, 28 Sept. 2008
By 
A. Kidner (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: THE BOOK OF SECRETS (Audio CD)
I based my decision to buy this on reviews and I'm so glad I went with the majority. Loreena has a stunning voice and the music is superb. Relaxing for me as I'm very much a Heavy Rock fan and Blues listener but do occasionally dabble in folk. It's worth every penny as far as I'm concerned and I'm sure to buy a second album from her soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hits just right., 8 Feb. 2007
By 
K. C. Simm "kenart" (Lancashire UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: THE BOOK OF SECRETS (Audio CD)
Loreena McKennitt has come along way both musically and as far as travelling the world is concerned. Inclined somewhat to take herself a little seriously she has nontheless justified herself and her seemingly endless travelling with this album.

Her most complete and rounded album to date follows her musical and intellectual travelling into the world of the early Celt and the medevial. She succeeds admirably producing a rounded, complete sound that compliments her crystal voice. Her references include poetry, legend and history and she fits the music to the sound gracefully.

This is an album for relaxing to and letting oneself drift away from the real world and into the admittedly somewhat fanciful world of history, fantasy and magick.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celtic international..., 20 Dec. 2005
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Book of Secrets (Audio CD)
This is far from Loreena McKennitt's first album, but it may be her breakthrough album. In this recording she has captured a glorious cross-section of Celtic-influenced international-themed songs. The 'chart topper' on the album is 'The Mummer's Dance', ironically not in the version that was heard on most American radio stations (that is a souped-up version released on CD-single, which was also used for the theme music for a short-lived television series called 'Legacy'). This has the rhythms, instrumentation and lyric qualities one has come to associate with modern Celtic tunes (a la Enya, Marie Brennan, Clannad, etc.).
Other songs are modern-day retellings of folk songs: 'The Highwayman' is a decidedly anti-British-occupation song, in which the heroine sacrifices her life to save her lover who is about to be trapped -- the Celtic peoples have learned from Roman times to the present to drink deep from the cup of sorrow, and this song (among others on the album)is a generous portion for that cup.
My favourite song, however, must be 'Skelling' -- it conjures up visions of monastic vows and solitude, a journey into life's vocation that requires both inward and outward travel far from home, never to return, but ultimately being content and safe in the community. Sweet and melancholy, the learned monk, reminiscent of Saint Francis for his love of animals, is essentially giving his final will and testament, a most spiritual treasure beyond valuing, from someone with vows of poverty.
Interspersed are several instrumental interludes, with differing characters (some decidedly oriental, others western, all however bearing a strong Celtic stamp).
This is a perfect introduction to McKennitt's work, but do not stop there. Her previous work is well worth exploring.
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