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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Atmospheric, but a lost opportunity�
on 27 July 2004
Maybe it's impossible for me to write a balanced review of this album, being as the music on it - and Robin Of Sherwood, the TV series it was written for - played such a important part in shaping my listening tastes as an adolescent way back in 1984/85. In my mind's eye, a gritty medieval world of sorcery, rampaging Normans and heroic derring-do are effortlessly conjured up by any of the tracks on this album.
That said, on the down side, it sounds dated in that way that Eighties studio production techniques did more so than say, those of the Seventies or even earlier. There's an over-reliance on milky washes of synth sound to convey a mystical, lost time when there are perfectly good medieval instruments that could have done the job more effectively - and the crisp, dry production so beloved of the time shows them up to great disadvantage.
However, Clannad were/are never about faithful reproduction of old folk/medieval/irish music. What you do get on this disc are beautiful, catchy tunes that managed to wrap themselves around the TV images to evoke a fanciful vision of Dark Age/Medieval England, with enough Eighties touches to keep a oft-told tale fresh and contemporary. And, like the series, the music has, on balance, held up well. Clannad were also canny enough to write self-contained, full-length pop songs, rather than musical cues and 'stings' for the TV series. This makes what is ostensibly a soundtrack album sound like a properly-rounded album of tunes rather than a series of disjointed, onomatapoeic cues inextricably linked to visual accompaniment. The music exists outside of the show perfectly well.
What really bothers me about this remastered reissue is that it's something of a lost opportunity, as it would have been nice if the rest of the music Clannad wrote for the TV series had been included (a good third or so of it has never been available) to extend the rather meagre running time... and the remix appended to this re-release, while nice enough if you like trancy dance music, adds nothing to the album and may well jar with the listening tastes of a large percentage of the kind of people who buy albums like these (you, perhaps?).
But - the reissue is cheap and the music is still excellent - it's only that I know there's plenty left in the can that costs this CD a star!