AN ABSOLUTE JOY,
This review is from: Lumiere (Audio CD)
I bought this purely on impulse as it was for sale at a very low price in a local shop and cannot recommend it highly enough. Having heard it i would happily have paid full price, something i rarely ever do.
Folk music isnt a specialist area of mine, country and blues is more my area, but i do have some folk cd's among them The Unthanks and Seth Lakemen. Both you could say are among the cream of the crop of their generation. If this resembles anyone i have it is The Unthanks only because os the purity of the sublime female vocals. Whereas The Unthanks are resolutely English in the best sense Lumiere are undoubtably Irish in the same way.
The voices here (Pauline Scanlon and Éilís Kennedy)have an almost ethereal quality which is genuinely bewitching and the sparse instrumentation compliments them perfectly. In fact you could easily listen without any and be just as enchanted and that is a very very rare thing indeed.
On reflection i have a Clannad cd where they sing in Irish Gaelic and these two women make that sound..."stodgy", sorry the only word i could come up with, which Clannad definitely are not.
There is about a third of the album sung in the Irish language and it just proves you don't need to speak a language to appreciate the art. Speaking of Irish initially i wasn't sure if it was Irish or Scots Gealic in some of the titles until track 4. Here a male vocalist shares the spotlight and i thought it was Cristie Moore until i looked at the box. They would be easily at home in such company but Declan Dempsey as he's called was more than able as it was.
To finish, i was smitten with the opening bars of track 1, but by the time they began track 6 Wayfaring Stranger i was head over heels in love with this cd. Buy this and play it to everyone you think will appreciate it, or better still just buy it for them.