Well, I saw "Riverdance" this week and without comparing the dancing in the two shows (since I could never do any of it), I really like Ronan Hardiman's music for "Lord of the Dance" a lot better. From the opening track "Cry of the Celts" you get the feel of listening to an Irish band cooking in a pub someplace. Hardiman offers up a rich diversity of tunes, from the ephemeral "Celtic Dream" (that reminds me of the Nutcracker for some reason) to the pounding rhythms of "Warriors." I wish "Gypsy" were longer, because that is probably my favorite track. Hardiman himself provides the keyboard/programming for this wonderful mix of ancient sounds with modern technology. After all, who thinks of Irish music with a saxophone like you have on "Fiery Nights?" It is usually Uilleann Pipes and serious fiddle playing, both of which abound on this album. The two bonus tracks featuring the solo taps of Michael Flatley with the Lord of the Dance troupe are enough for the CD; you can always put on the video to hear more of the same, but I would think that after a while you can really just hear the tapping in your mind all the time anyway. Yes, you will enjoy this music more having seen the show, but I actually enjoyed listening to this CD for months before I bothered to check out the tape.
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