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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and beautiful
I came across Loreena McKennitt when I bought "Celtic Chillout" which featured "The Mummer's Dance". It took me to "The Book Of Secrets", which drove me to her other albums - both studio and live. As I continue to discover her development from her more folk-orientated music to what would now be described as World Music (if we must use categories!), my love of her music...
Published on 15 April 2007 by Cloudberry

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars not bad
Not one of her better albums. Most of it sounds like an Indian restaurants background music. The only track i listen to and love is "The English Knight and Ladye"
Published 16 months ago by gypee


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and beautiful, 15 April 2007
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
I came across Loreena McKennitt when I bought "Celtic Chillout" which featured "The Mummer's Dance". It took me to "The Book Of Secrets", which drove me to her other albums - both studio and live. As I continue to discover her development from her more folk-orientated music to what would now be described as World Music (if we must use categories!), my love of her music grows, to the point where I have had a real longing for the release of this album.

I was not immediately certain about the music I heard until I had listened to it four or five times but, now, I can't get enough of it. Such is her ability to enchant, captivate or charm me that, amongst all the large amounts of music I listen to, I keep coming back to Loreena.

The thing about her is that it is not just an album but a magical mystery lesson in history, set to music. You buy the whole package including her immersion in the research which goes into the making of the album and the story of the journeys she makes.

Once the research is done, it seems that the knowledge her fantastic mind has gained is used to piece together a travelogue which sends the listener on a similar journey to which the artist has been on. This is, I guess, what she sets out to do - and she succeeds wonderfully.

For this album, she has brought together a brilliant set of musicians - Brian Hughes, Hugh Marsh, Caroline Lavelle, Rick Lazar and Donald Quan - to name five and who have featured on previous albums.

So what we have is such a fantastic album that I can't stop playing it. Loreena's singing is sensational and with such clarity that you can hear every word. Add the aforementioned musicians and nine gorgeous tracks - my personal favourites are "Beneath A Phrygian Sky" and "Penelope's Song", but all are brilliant - and you have a fantastic album which will be among my all-time favourites for a long time.

Incidentally, at the time of writing, she has just finished a European tour and is about to start a tour of Canada and the United States. Her only English concert was in London's Barbican Theatre and she and her fellow musicians were simply fantastic. Fans should look out for a 2xCD/1xDVD box set of the concert she performed in September 2006 at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, which was on sale at her concert venues - it is brilliant.

So, this relatively new fan has fallen in love with Loreena McKennitt's music and I strongly recommend that if you have a vague interest in her music, buy the album and you will not be disappointed - it is a hauntingly, beautiful collection of musical from a brilliantly talented artist.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Was it?, 8 Feb 2007
By 
K. C. Simm "kenart" (Lancashire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
Was it worth waiting for this first recording for a long time from Loreena McKennitt, the Canadian Harpist/Composer/vocallist who was obviously born in the wrong place at the wrong time? The short answer is yes. This is a remarkably assured album and the only reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars was because it is somewhat similar to her last offering although that is no bad thing.
Again we follow Mckennitt on her travels, most importantly through the music but also through the running diary she keeps and uses eventually as sleeve notes. All the tracks are strong and performed well so if you are already into her music, you will not be disappointed. Mckennitt has come into her own. Leads me to think as an after thought that the next one will have to be very out of the ordinary. I hope we don't have to wait too long.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Muse undimmed, 21 Nov 2006
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Mr. Geoffrey M. Teece "gmteece2" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
It has been a longish wait since 'The Book of Secrets' but for LM fans it will not disappoint. If anything the arrangements are more complex and rich. After just a few listenings it seems a stronger, more powerful album (more like the fantastic live album in feel) than the other studio albums. The sense of melody is very rich on this album particularly on 'Caravanserai', Beneath a Phrygian Sky', 'Penelope' and 'Never-ending Road'. These are just sublimely beautiful and her singing is better than ever. This is written only one day after release but already I'm relishing listenings to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars celtic arabia journey, 28 Feb 2007
By 
Philip Solo (UK , Japan, or Thailand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
I liked this album off preview off her site and bought it recently and it appeals with the especial emphasis on the wonderful stringed arabian themes which suffuse some of the tracks. I am particularly into the arabian scales and imagery which evoke exotic locations and she captures the essence of the Celtic and eastern elements very well. For me, a great fusion of the 'folk' elements of both cultures and interesting to hear subliminal influences of some english folk drone backgrounds on tracks like 'the english ladye and the knight' which evoked for me the excellent multi vocal version of 'Traveller's Prayer' by the John Renbourn Group.

Listening to this wonderfully researched and presented journey reminds me of how much of my life I have spent on business trivia when I could have been dedicating it to this kind of art and music immersion.. how I wish I had the time. I lost time listening to this, a genuine trip of ages... some of themes and tunes were so 'familiar' even hearing them for the first time like musical 'inherited' memory!.. makes me realise how much of 'early' music was derived from similar scales and simplicity... unlike today's manufactured Mc Noise. Superb stuff !
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Album, 28 Nov 2006
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G. Mason (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
It's been a decade since the last release, but this album was well worth the wait. High production standards and much attention to detail has resulted in what can only be described as a truly magical journey that transports the listener. Loreena's voice is superb and the arrangements are flawless. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beauty for ever, 3 Jan 2007
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
Each of Loreena albums brings something special. This one, long expected, confirms her exquisite gifts, both her voice and the instrumental music are wonderful, they give me a feeling of mystery as well as make me search for e.g. Anna Komnena's works which have been Loreena's inspiration.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, but rather self-derivative, 6 Mar 2007
By 
Andrew Fawcett (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
You can't really fail to be moved by her voice, and by the sprituality of her music. But this collection feels very familiar.

Look back 16 or so years to the ground-breaking album 'the Visit'. Songs starting with ominously droning bass instruments, before that crysta-clear voice appears; mystical subjects, delicate harp-led instrumental intervals and, with 'the Lady of Shallot' Ms McKennits new-age/Celtic interpretation of classic English poetry.

And with this new offering we find many of the same elements, even down to 'the English Lady and the Night', with, as the sleeve notes tell us 'lyrics by Sir Walter Scott'. Luscious Middle-eastern rhythms and chord changes place much of the music geographically, but it might have been nice to feel more of a sense of artistic progress.

Having said all of the above, I shall continue to be moved by Loreena McKennitt's music, which can touch the soul and move the spirit.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting & Evocative, 10 Mar 2007
By 
David R. (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
After ten year break, Loreena Mckennitt's "An Ancient Muse" is equally beautiful and inspiring as her last album. This music is really healing and the Middle-Eastern instruments really stand out in a superb way. I highly recommend this CD along with an inspiring book by Morrison & Singh called "Nexus."
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5.0 out of 5 stars new cd, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)
This is a fantastic cd. The music brings back so many memories of when I lived in Istanbul. Heard it first in a Jewish restaurant in Cordoba!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful !!!, 17 May 2014
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I. Weber (derry, uk) - See all my reviews
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This is one of my absolute favourites by this artist, together with "The Mask and the Mirror". It is incredibly evocative, and I can (and do ) listen to it for hours. Highly recommend !
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An Ancient Muse
An Ancient Muse by Loreena McKennitt (Audio CD - 2006)
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