31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Haunting and beautiful,
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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.