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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
21
Beyond These Shores
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£7.99


on 28 September 2003
I got hold of this album as part of the 'River Flows' boxset, which featured remastered versions of Iona's first 3 albums and a fourth CD of new material. Much as I love all the other albums on that compilation, it's 'Beyond These Shores' that I keep coming back to. It was the group's least 'concept-based' album so far, and as a result I find it more accessible than 'The Book of Kells', which was a series of impressionistic pieces related to various pages of the eponymous manuscript.
The album loosely follows the life of St Brendan the Navigator, who is said to have made a voyage in a coracle with a few companions, travelling as far as Greenland (and beyond, if I remember rightly). The story is conveyed by means of atmospheric pieces ('View of the Islands' being one of my favourites) and more conventional songs, which work well even on their own (as witnessed on the live album 'Heaven's Bright Sun'). The 'Celtic' influence is still strong on this album (particularly in 'Today' and 'Machrie Moor') but it's tempered with Prog Rock/Jazz sensibilities (check out 'Bird of Heaven', which makes heavy use of irregular time signatures).

The boxset version of the album (and probably this one as well)ends with a beautiful vocal track called 'Beyond These Shores'. No obvious references to Brendan here, though clearly inspired by him - 'Wherever I may go, Your love surrounds me'. It seems like a call to follow God wherever He may lead, which is the ultimate lesson of Brendan's life. The melancholy, evocative ending of the album leaves you thinking, and that must be a good thing. It's the very essence of Celtic Christianity.
Iona are one of British music's best kept secrets. Buy the album and enjoy!
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on 30 July 2013
I switched to this album after playing a lot of Marillion stuff in the car. At first, I thought 'OK, Clannad clones; not original' but with each playing, the album grew on me and I realised how beautiful and inspiring the tracks were. Iona are astonishingly talented, producing melodic music with real depth. Youtube has numerous clips to illustrate how magnificent they are on stage.

This album has a more even feel than some of their others, with the right balance between instrumental and vocal tracks. Joanne Hogg has the voice of an angel, set against a sophisticated celtic/prog musical tapestry.

Iona's music has a religious tone but don't let that put you off. I am a rational scientist but still soak up the spirituality without any discomfort. Frankly, Christianity has never sounded so good.
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on 25 April 2018
very good!
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on 16 February 2014
I bought this as a gift for a friend whose daughter is named Iona. She took it back to Canada and it has gone down a storm amongst her friends, they just love Iona's beautiful, haunting music. I'll certainly be buying further copies for gifts - and one for myself also. This CD is highly recommended.
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on 14 January 2014
Nice mixture of instrumental and original songs by Iona. Their music really grows on you if you know what I mean. Highly
recommended.
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on 8 August 2014
Excellent a joy to listen to, beautiful music
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on 12 July 2014
Brilliant yet relaxing at times to listen to.
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on 11 July 2014
Bought as a present. Recipient very happy.
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on 27 April 2016
good!
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on 24 January 2016
Great chill out music
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