on 5 January 2006
The instrumental part of Capercaillie album "Crosswinds" is the kind of old-fashioned records that are typical of the beginnings of many celtic bands - Clannad is a good example. But "Crosswinds" is also a not-to-miss album for the vocal part - because it is blessed by five of the most outstanding solo performances in Gaelic language from the lead vocal of the Capercaillie band, Scottish singer Karen Matheson. You will fall in love with the soprano-like "Soraidh Bhuam Gu Barraidh", the airy "Am Buachaille Ban", the soulful and sweet "Ma Theid Mise Tuilleagh", the solemn "Urnaigh A 'bhan Thigreach" and the celestial "An Ribhinn Donn". If you like soulful voices with a lyric and limpid richness of tone and a strong ability to illuminate the accents and sonorities of their native language - like Portuguese performer Cristina Branco - the superior voice of Karen Matheson will be with you forever.
This was one of the last albums by Capercaillie I purchased. It features some stunning and glorious vocal deliveries from Karen Matheson and excellent playing from the rest of the band as we have now come to know and take for granted. But they did it here with this their second album. The album floats along like a swan gracefully gliding on a lake.
I find it very difficult to pick a particular favourite on this highly exceptional album. So instead I will choose the whole thing as every track on here is of a high standard which we have come to know as commonplace with Capercaillie albums of today. I find that the slower songs are sung with such feeling and grace and Karen Matheson's voice is perfect in its execution. The rest of the band's playing is immaculate and gives the songs richness and life.
As far as second albums go this is possibly one of the best I've heard. As the band have grown over the years in stature and performance and of course popularity, Capercaillie have just got better and better perfecting their sound and giving their fans (of which I am one) lots of joy and pleasure in hearing their songs on CD. This album is just beautiful and outstanding. Great effort.
This second album by the Scottish folk group Capercaillie is as beautiful as anything I`ve ever heard.
Karen Matheson has an ethereal, haunting voice, heard to greatest advantage on the several ballads on Crosswinds, including Soraidh Bhuam Gu Barraidh and Urnaigh A `Bhan-Thigreach, both extremely moving.
There`s an achingly mournful version of My Laggan Love played by Whistle & Recorder wizard Marc Duff, which segues into the suitably irrepressible and jaunty Fox On The Town. This in turn is followed by the final, heart-rending number An Ribhinn Donn, sung with all the evocative grace Karen Matheson has at her considerable disposal. What a voice! It`s a fine and pleasingly downbeat ending to a gorgeous album by this most rewarding of Celtic folk bands.
In between the slower, elegiac songs are more uptempo jigs, reels and the like, played with aplomb by the lads in the band. These only render Karen`s vocal tracks the more welcome, like a cool, sober breeze on a warm and frisky day.
The capercaillie is a large, often fierce bird native to the Scottish Highlands, found nowhere else. Capercaillie is a delightful, versatile group of excellent musicians who travel well.
on 26 May 2014
I love this cd, every track is fresh, attractive and very catchy. It's fascinating to hear Capercaillie in their early period, where Karen is singing more traditionally, using her voice in a higher register than she now does. The backing and instrumentals are very fine and the players extremely skilful. Great recording. Buy it !