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  • Uam
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 4 November 2009
This is a great album of "traditional" music. If you are a fan of that genre my advice is simply that you buy it. If you would like a little more of my own opinion first, read on.

I bought the album after seeing Julie and band play on the album launch tour. I had had very limited previous exposure to her music. On stage, her humility and gentle wit shone forth, ever accompanied by consummate professionalism. Somehow she lets the music speak for itself. There is none of the ego and crass commercialism which weighs so heavily on many young musicians today (albeit usually of a rather different genre). This comes through in the album too. On the sleeve, Julie lays bare her manifesto: songs are like presents, you may receive them and enjoy them, but also must you pass them on to others. Some presents are a joy to receive, others less so. This collection of songs falls squarely into the former category. Fowlis' singing is technically excellent, but - crucially - she is possessed of the ability to convey something of her own character through her voice. This elevates the songs to the level of a dynamic, spirited, and thoroughly interesting conversation in which one is privileged to be a listener.

Of the individual songs, I consider track three to be the weakest. It sounds rather too much like a folk pop song. However, this does not matter greatly: I have never yet found an album where I was completely taken by every track. That the rest of the tracks appeal to me is more than enough. I am hard put to name a favourite, but at the moment track four has has been listened to the most. The album is worth the money for this alone. If I have heard its like before, it was not in the Scottish tradition. The beat is amazing; the time signature borders on the psychedelic. This is a clear demonstration of Fowlis' vocal ability, upon which I have already eulogised. Here is the evidence. What could easily sound rigid for fear of losing hold of the unconventional beat sounds so natural. This track, and others, are also testament to the highly skilled musicians who ably support Fowlis' obvious talent. I could go on, but in the interests of retaining a modicum of brevity, I won't. In any case, my enthusiasm for each track would become repetitive. A wonderful achievement. I can't wait to buy the other albums.
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on 8 November 2009
Though I've only listened to this a few times now, this collection of Scots Gaelic songs and tunes is at least as good as the last album, cuilidh, which I love. Julie's singing is simply superb, but I also especially enjoy the whistle and bodhran playing. Though I'm no expert I see it as traditional with a modern flair., and there is a good mix of tracks in different styles/tempos. I like the Gaelic singing, though I understand little- the music is so good it doesn't matter. She is doing a fantastic job of raising the profile of scots Gaelic just by her one voice! Buy it- if you like traditional/folk music and don't mind not understanding the words you'll love it!
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on 13 November 2009
this is the first cd of julie's that i've bought, having seen her on the recent series of Transatlantic Sessions, as well as catching her radio show on BBC Scotland (I don't live in Scotland, but listened via the net). i'm really a novice at scottish gaelic music, and don't speak gaelic, but i love it, and have made a point of listening to Radio Nan Gaidhael (again via the net) to try and get a sense of the music. Julie Fowlis's music has a timeless quality that transcends time, space and language - it's thoughtful and heartfelt - it's very real - and it's all about the music, rather than being about the singer. Julie duets with the older and well-respected Mary Smith on several of the songs, which is great to hear, and seems to indicate the sense of 'passing on songs' from one generation to the next. i really look forward to hearing her future offerings, and will aim to buy 'Dual' next. I should add that my friends and family (including my 60 year old mother and my 12 year old son), none of whom would ordinarily claim to like either folk or gaelic music, all prick up their ears when they hear this cd... so on that basis I think it comes heartily recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 6 June 2010
When I heard this I thought could it be as good as her previous album 'Cuilidh'? It turned out to be not only as good as 'Cuilidh' but I thought it was actually better in that it felt more refined and glorious in texture and depth. On this album, everybody involved seems to be having a ball and enjoying themselves. The Gaelic tunes are so full of foot-tapping rhythms and the ballads and songs are really stunning.

I feel hard pressed to choose a favourite on this beautiful and stunning album so I'll just pick every track on here as brilliant. I really love the celtic folk sound that she produces on her albums for she feels so at ease when she's singing in her native tongue or even when she's playing the whistles. She has guest vocalists performing with her on different songs and these tracks are also good fun to listen to. Her band, including her husband and producing partner, also provide quality musicianship in support.

All in all I would say that this album is up there as one of my favourites to listen to whether in the car or on the hi-fi. I really enjoy listening to this kind of folk music especially when it's by someone who feels comfortable singing and performing in a native tongue. With this album, Julie Fowlis has proved to the folk music world that she is definitely one to be reckoned with and, in my opinion, has placed herself near the top of the folk music tree. A truly exceptional talent and musician.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 February 2011
Julie Fowlis continues to inhabit a musical space of passion, generosity and joyfulness. On this album she also shares songs with other chanteuses of an older generation, Mary Smith and Eddy Reader. As another reviewer points out, this follows Fowlis' belief that a song is a gift (Uam means from me) which is passed to the listener, and if that listener is also musical they may pass it on to another listener in performance. So there is the sense of this music being handed down through the generations.

I'm not Scottish, but the sense of ancientness and 'in the blood'ness in this music is palpable. Maybe its just Fowlis' own inhabiting of the music with such integrity.

As well as the wonderful strange vocals (but if you type juliefowlis followed by a dot and a com you will find her website, where translations are provided, for if you have bought this on mp3 download) there are the complex musical rhythms and textures of the instruments to delight.

As ever, she's produced a haunting album, even the songs of sorrowful yearning speak of joy at feeling itself, and the joy of music. Fowlis may indeed be something of a star on the Celtic music scene, but to listen to her albums, and indeed to see her live, is to experience a performer who serves the music, and the audience for that music, not her own ego. All the musicians shine!
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on 17 August 2013
...but a bit monotonous. Ms. Fowlis sings nicely and plays a good tin whistle, but I found that the material on this one to be a bit repetitive. Yes, I know it's in the nature of traditional song to be repetitive (especially in the case of work songs, as some of these are), but I kept thinking that many of the songs could be reduced by one-third in length and nobody would notice.
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on 27 April 2010
Julie Fowlis is rapidly emerging as Britain's finest folk singer. She possesses a lovely sweet clear voice, picks great songs and along with hubby, Eamon Doorly, shows great sensitivity and musicality in arranging these songs. This time round (her 3rd release) Fowlis relies mainly on her own backing band, with Doorly's rich bouzouki tone very prominent. Song selection is satisfyingly varied. Fowlis is one of the few female folk artists who consistently sources good up-tempo material. She again shines on tin whistle on a few tracks and instrumental passages are again extensive and beautifully played.

Fowlis sings exclusively in Scots Gaelic and where she does a bilingual number here she has wisely gone for the gorgeous vocals of fellow Scot - Eddi Reader on "Wind and Rain". If this song doesn't enchant you nothing will! Fowlis cleverly uses a number of female backing singers and the album benefits from having contrasting voices providing backing.

I still regard "Cuilidh" as a finer album as 2 of the tracks here don't work for me - "Thig am Bata", which is overly repetitive, and the penultimate " A Mhic Dhugaill" where I don't think the Scottish bagpipes are the best instrument to accompany Julie's vocal. But otherwise this is another magnificent recording and well worth the five stars!
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on 11 January 2010
If Gaelic music is not familiar to you try this CD and you'll be a fan forever. Julie sings beautifully as ever and her band of excellent musicians make this a must CD to add to your collection.
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on 7 December 2009
Caught a glimpse of Julie on Transatlantic sessions, this cd is brilliant! Really easy listening
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on 31 January 2011
This is a truly fabulous album it doesn't matter that I don't speak gaelic this music moves you. We saw Julie at the Perthshire Amber last year and she was amazing live go and she her if you get a chance, if not buy this album it's great.
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