29 of 30 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 Big G
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 7 months ago by gypee
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music for the soul,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)Just drift away on Loreena McKennitt's dreamy music; imagine you are camped at an oasis, part of a mystical, mysterious caravanserai.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loreena Mckennit : An Ancient Muse.,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)This is a fantastic C.D she is such a gifted singer/songwriter.I have bought this as a gift ,as my daughter did for me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loreena Mc Kennitt - an ancient muse indeed,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)I love the music that Loreena writes, I love the colours I hear in her voice. The lyrics are wonderful and unique, they are trasfering me to the very images and sceneries that Loreena saw and got the inspiration to write these marvelous songs
4.0 out of 5 stars "An Ancient Muse" is Loreena McKennitt's best work to date,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)Loreena McKennitt spent quite a significant amount of time travelling around the world and experiencing different cultures following the success of the critically acclaimed 1997 release "The Book Of Secrets". 9 years later, "An Ancient Muse" is released and it is instantly possible to tell that the changes to her music have been influenced by her travels. The arrangements are much more varied than before and there is a wider range of instruments used.
"Incantation" is a magical introduction to "An Ancient Muse" with haunting vocals and atmospheric arrangements. "The Gates Of Istanbul" is a somptuous Middle Eastern influenced song as the title suggests, with a laid back mid-tempo rythym and plush arrangements. The first highlight of the album is "Caravanserai" as it is a very beautiful piece of Irish Folk music with emotional vocals and powerful instrumentation. "The English Ladye And The Knight" is a soft Irish influenced ballad with subtle vocal harmonies and calm synthesiser sounds, bearing similarities to an Enya song. "Kecharitomene" is a pleasant Folk inspired instrumental with a strong melody. "Penelope's Song" is a very classy song with a beautiful melody and heartfelt vocals and arrangements, making it the second highlight of the album. "Sacred Shabbat" is another instrumental, this time with a heavy Middle Eastern influence. The third highlight is "Beneath A Phrygian Sky" as it has such a perfect melody, suave arrangements and lovely vocals from Loreena - a real treat of a song. The final song "Never-Ending Road" is another emotional Irish Folk ballad that ends the album in style.
"An Ancient Muse" is Loreena McKennitt's most exciting release to date as she is experimenting with a wider rang of musical influences and instruments. This makes her music sound more varied and more accomplished. This album is very beautiful and a pleasure to listen to throughout - a must buy album for Loreena McKennitt fans.
5.0 out of 5 stars EXELLENT,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)Transported to exotic lands
Ms Mc Kennitt takes you on a journey which has you almost smelling the incence, visiting the monastery and travelling back in time to days of knights and castles .
You will toe tap,dance, sing along and enjoy (maybe the singing part will only be in the car or shower if you are like me:o))
I would recommend listening on the .tube for you. and then buy here!
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystical and Eastern,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)Another artist I did not know about till perusing through YouTube. A hint of Enya, the Irish mixed with mediterrean/middle eastern sounds creates a beautiful lumbering sound....one can almost dream you are going through the desert on a camel. Quite mesmerizing!! Another great CD with a hope to buying more?!
5.0 out of 5 stars thank you for the spark,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)I have my own working studio/gallery where I have been painting for a number of years and always play music when painting, they seem to connect somehow. One of my customers introduced me to this album just before Christmas last year suggesting it might help inspire me and it certainly did. I immediately purchased two of her albums with Loreena's music giving me a spark to realise at long last one of my oldest sketches that had been sitting around for years. I finished the painting earlier this year, titled 'The Caravan of Masks' All thanks to loreena. Take a look at if you want on [...].I'm planning on treating myself two more of her albums this Christmas but cannot decide which. Perhaps I will buy them all. Thank you Loreena for the inspiration.
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel the ancient Silk Route,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)Loreena McKennitt is like no other. Her music transcends that of other artists.
Blessed with the most pure angelic voice, and gifted with the ability to write such wonderfully evocative and atmospheric lyrics, blended with music and orchestration of the highest order, she is beyond equal.
In this imaginative and beautifully crafted album you are transported back in time to the exotic sights and sounds of the ancient Silk Route. In additon we have Loreena's adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's "The English Lady and the Knight".
As usual with Loreena all tracks are outstanding but particular mention should be made of "Caravanserai", "Penelope's Song" (Odysseus's wife),"Beneath a Phrygian Sky", and "Never Ending Road".
If you are already acquainted with Loreena's music you will need no prompting to buy this, but if you are unfamiliar then I would urge you to acquire this or any of her other sumptuous creations:
"The Mask & the Mirror".
"The Book of Secrets"
I don't believe you will be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Return of the muse,
This review is from: Ancient Muse (Audio CD)After the death of her fiance, Loreena McKennitt went into retirement for several years. But when she returned, she came back in a big way -- "An Ancient Muse," a haunting little album filled with Middle-Eastern grandeur and Celtic bittersweet beauty. In other words, McKennitt picked up where she left off, and the years have not dulled the richness of her music.
In a way, the album feels like it follows a day all across Europe and the Middle East. It begins with "Incantation," a slow sunrise of a song filled with murmuring vocals and dark sweeps of strings, before segueing into the lazy half-lit twangs and angles of "The Gates of Istanbul" and the peppy sand-swept ballad of "Caravanserai."
Then McKennitt moves into colder climates with the wistful, string-soaked ballad "The English Ladye and The Knight" (all about a lady in love with a Scottish knight -- cue tragedy), the swirling "Kecharitomene" and the painfully lovely "Penelope's Song." With the final leg of the album, she drifts into the twangy Eastern European flavors of "Sacred Shabbat," the lush twilight tones of "Beneath a Phrygian Sky," and finishing with the soft lulling beauty of "Never-Ending Road (Amhrán Duit)."
"An Ancient Muse" is only nine songs long, but it's one of those albums that feels like a full meal once you've finished it. There are a couple songs that aren't quite brilliant all the time ("Sacred Shabbat" just didn't grab me), but overall McKennit picks up where she left off in the late nineties -- lush multi-instrumental music laced with angelic vocals, flavored with the mystical.
Her music brims over with silky strings, piano, guitar, keyboards, harp, angular accordion and earthy drums, as well as more exotic instruments like the bouzouki, the oud, the Turkish clarinet, the tabla and the lyra. And she evokes some truly spellbinding music with those instruments -- she can bring to life misty forests, Turkish marketplaces, colorful nighttime dances, and stately medieval processions. Although, I heard hints of "The Mummer's Dance" in a couple of the melodies.
Her voice is also incredibly lovely, rich and angelic in all the songs she sings in. Her lyrics are similarly rich -- she seems to make nature itself into a light-filled temple ("The sand was shimmering in the morning light/And dancing off the dunes so far away"), even as she often sings of yearning and lost love ("And in the night when our dreams are still/Or when the wind calls free/I'll keep your heart with mine/Till you come to me").
It took many years for Loreena McKennitt to make a full return to musicmaking, and "The Ancient Muse" is a short but good reminder of why she was worth waiting for. Not quite perfect, but close enough.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music,
This review is from: An Ancient Muse (Audio CD)I am a great fan of Loreena
McKennett and this is one of her best albums.(they are all good).Anyone thinking about buying it...go for it.
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