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4.6 out of 5 stars
Sean-Nos Nua
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 2003
When I first heard about this CD, my heart sank as I suspected that an attempt to cover some familiar Irish songs suggested a lack of new ideas and ran the risk of committing near-sacrilege. I mean, who could possibly reinterpret songs like 'Molly Malone' and hope to add anything to them? However, when I played the CD, I realised that the answer to that question is very simple: Sinead O'Connor. This is an astounding CD in which the singer takes songs which, to the ear of any Irish person, will probably have lost their appeal through over-familiarity and she respectfully enhances them through sometimes only minor modifications while retaining all the valuable qualities of the originals. So 'Molly Malone' is transformed from a singalong ditty to a profoundly sad and moving song and - this one is my own favourite - 'I'll Tell Me Ma' is transformed from something that I remember as a skipping song sung by young girls in the street into a cheeky, joyous riot of a song with some expert traditional musicians giving it their all. Of all the CDs I've bought this year, this is the one that I've played most often. It's simply a CD to treasure, featuring an imaginative performer at the very top of her game.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2002
So here she comes, yet again with something fresh and different. Sinéad has to be one of the most versatile artists around, having collaborated with so many others, and taking her own music to new heights.
"Sean Nos Nua" (meaning literally "new old style") outlines that fact that this album, although essentially being covers of traditional Irish songs, is new. Sinéad's outstandingly expressive voice is in fine form throughout this album. From the she-warrior that is 'Oro Se do Beatha Bhaile' to the lamenting whisper evident in 'Peggy Gordon'. There are songs on this album that you'd never thought could be transformed and interpreted as Sinéad has done. I actually shiver to the sound of "cockles and mussels/ alive, alive-o"! And hearing how the girls of Belfast city are pretty no longer causes me to cringe, but to get up and dance.
What more can I say? Sinéad, you never cease to amaze me! :oD
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2002
For me, this very personal collection of mainly Irish-language songs is the best of Sinéad O'Connor so far. Irish listeners will hear new life in stale songs, such as Oró 'se do bheatha 'bhaile and Baidín Fheillimí, sung as you would never have expected to hear them. If you're not Irish, don't worry about the language barrier: the sleeve notes explain the songs, and the voice needs no translation; the power and grace of Sinéad's voice has never had better expression than here. The songs are new arrangements of traditional songs, and the arrangements are by some of Ireland's leading artists. For me, the best is "My Lagan Love". But the best thing about this CD is that my 3 and 5 year old boys have discovered a liking for these Irish songs, which is completely unexpected.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
We've heard them all before ....... but have we - Sinéad O'Connor's latest offering brings an unprecendented depth and vitality to a selection of traditional Irish songs - this really is something special - such a beautifully crafted album, nothing as impressive as this will be produced this year.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2002
So here she comes, yet again with something fresh and different. Sinéad has to be one of the most versatile artists around, having collaborated with so many others, and taking her own music to new heights.
"Sean Nos Nua" (meaning literally "new old style") outlines that fact that this album, although essentially being covers of traditional Irish songs, is new. Sinéad's outstandingly expressive voice is in fine form throughout this album. From the she-warrior that is 'Oro Se do Beatha Bhaile' to the lamenting whisper evident in 'Peggy Gordon'. There are songs on this album that you'd never thought could be transformed and interpreted as Sinéad has done. I actually shiver to the sound of "cockles and mussels/ alive, alive-o"! And hearing how the girls of Belfast city are pretty no longer causes me to cringe, but to get up and dance.
What more can I say? Sinéad, you never cease to amaze me! :oD
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2003
Sean Nós is, literally, 'old style'. It's the type of unaccompanied singing that makes me think of little antique men sitting in pubs crooning out an antique song while everyone respectfully listens.
Most of the songs on this CD have probably been sung 'sean nós' over the years. Now along comes the wonderful Sinéad to turn them into Sean Nós Nua - New Old-Style. The title is a perfect description of what the CD is all about. Old songs, in the Sinéad style, sung with respect (even Molly Malone!) and given a range of new meanings and depth.
I can't imagine why anyone would be put off by the two numbers in the Irish language - they're beautiful songs, they're fully explained, and for anyone who's interested there are full translations all over the internet - just type in a few words and you'll find them.
Sinéad has announced her intention to retire from music in just a few months from now. I hope she's occasionally tempted out of retirement, but if not, this is probably the most perfect album she could have ended on.
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful. Buy it!
Thank you Sinéad!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 February 2006
Sinead O'Connor's first couple of albums were magnificent ground-breaking stuff which still sound great today. After that, her successes were more sporadic as she searched for a focus for her vocal talent and identity, often sounding hesitant and constrained. This is her best album in many years, singing with renewed confidence on a collection of purely traditional Irish songs that she clearly loves, such as Peggy Gordon, Lord Franklin, The Moorlough Shore and The Parting Glass, with a sympathetic cluster of excellent musicians ranging from Donal Lunny and Sharon Shannon to the dub On-U Sounds of Skip MacDonald (Little Axe) and Adrian Sherwood
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2008
I bought this album when it first came out having heard Sinead being interviewed late night on radio. I was nearly asleep and they played a couple of tracks. Woke me up straightaway! I'd never been a particular fan but I absolutely love this album. Have played mine til it wore out so am about to buy another copy. The track with Christy Moore is really haunting and at 11 minutes long you still haven't had enough by the end.
Charlie Rose
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 May 2010
Just get it for the Lord Baker track alone. It is a simply stunning and beautiful duet. Christy Moore's voice is matched perfectly to O'Connor's. Stunning, just stunning.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2002
Only two of the songs are Irish language so don't be put off by that. The two that are in Irish are classics, learned at school by many in Ireland.
This is a stunningly good CD. The production is excellent nearly all the way through. What is really beautiful about it is the singing. Her phrasing is fantastic and brings everyday songs like 'Molly Malone' and 'I'll tell me ma'to life, and provides new insights.
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