So now you've heard it ??

Was up early for work, so got my mp3 download @ 0500 UK time.. I must have played this album 5 or 6 times during the course of today, and I'm still left feeling a little dissapointed.

To my ears it's a good album, but it isn't a GREAT album, there doesn't seem to be any track that really stands out.. and I even prefer "the Seven Rejoices of Mary" to "The Star of the County Down"

Loreena's music has been part of the soundtrack to my life since I first heard Mask & Mirror back in '95. but If my introduction to her Music had been this album. I might not have been "hooked."

I can understand Loreena's desire to return to her "roots", but I'm not sure this is really possible..

There's been a lot of water under the bridge since Elemental & Parallel Dreams, not to mention changes in recording/production techniques. The album to my ears just doesn't feel quite "there"

8/10 from me.. anybody else agree??
Original Post
Yes - I have to agree with you. Although it is lovely to hear these old songs sung by Loreena and her voice is beautiful as always, I found little that is original in the arrangements with maybe 2 exceptions. I do think that 'Parting Glass' is a stunning & original version & I also liked the haunting interpretation of 'The wind that shakes the barley'.
Otherwise it is much the same as many other recordings of these songs & I hoped for something more dramatic.
It maybe that for us in the UK we are used to hearing many versions of these songs & they do not seem so fresh. Maybe for others who are not so familiar with this music they will have a newer feel.
For me - I am hoping for some new original music from Loreena in the near future!
Talking about reviews and ratings, I've found this online:

The Viewpoint

“The title track, "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," is a pure accent of McKennitt's vocal capabilities, and is a very slow song, deeply wrought with emotion.”

I was hoping that there would be more reviews and that the album would receive more attention by the media, but maybe that is to come yet.
I adore this album for what it is. But I do have to admit it took a few listens to really love it like I love albums like "The Mask and Mirror" and "The Visit" I'm not sure why, all of the songs are gorgeously performed and Loreena's voice is as flawless as ever.. I think it has to do with the selection.

The songs sound very, very familiar to me personally and I wasn't surprised really. The stand out song to be was "As I Roved Out" which I'd never heard before, and "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" which is heart-wrenching and dynamically performed.

It'd have been nice for more original music, or maybe more obscure songs that aren't typically thought of when we think of "Celtic Music" personally I was heavily hoping for Loreena's rendition of "The Three Ravens" which we know she does so beautifully and quickly from the originaly arrangement.... I digress..

lovely album, goddess voice, just sort of expected songs. Love and Loreena! Smiler
Adding a fresh point of view from someone who has frankly never heard any of these songs. I found the cd to be wonderfully executed as usual and Loreena just delivers these songs with passion and elegance. I also prefer her original material, but this was surely a fantastic surprise just in time for christmas time.
I am not disappointed in the least. Ms. McKennitt triggered my exploration of Celtic music. I have listened to all of these selections as they were performed by a number of Celtic performers and bands. I love these songs. I have often wondered what they would be like if Ms. McKennitt perfprmed them. Now I know. They are lovely...they are classics... and her interpretations bear her unmistakable stamp. I would LOVE to hear her versions of other traditional Celtic music. By all means I would hope that Ms. McKennitt will continue to produce new and original music...and I am sure she will. But...why shouldn't she perform these traditional only she can do. As I said...I am not disappointed in the least. It's about the music...and the celebration of Celtic music...isn't it?
firstly, I must say I find it quite interesting that so few people rate the songs on this new recording. I might not have browsed through the forum enough times though.
Anyway, by now - even in the long weeks of endless work - I have given a throrough listen to the new album. At the beginning, when I learned about the news I wept with joy at the hear of Loreena recording Irish songs again and no less was I satisfied with the samples. However, on arrival of the actual songs (via digital downloads, for my shipment has not arrived yet, which is indeed a little disappointing, as some have put it quite right), I, too, was a tiny bit disappointed. I have to add, that my expectation was not entirely fair either, since one cannot expect traditional songs to be as utterly complex music as either classical or some of Loreena's original work. However, my first impression was that this album might have been made in a complete rush. What I particularly miss is that special sound when Loreena sings two (or more) different vocals and then those are put on each other. I don't think I have put this very professionally but there, I am no musician Smiler hope you know what I mean. This sound appeared mostly on Elemental and To Drive the cold winter away, which was propbably one main reason I fell in love with her music. It just makes the whole thing sound very rich. On the other hand, I was much pleased at hearing that the distortion of sounds digitally was reduced to the least, and this made the music very natural, like a live performance. Very professional work there, I think. Song by song, I don't wish to rate TWTSTB, I just wanted to point out that the title song I found absolutely strong and meaningful, and I loved that it was arranged in a kind of "cold" way, without being too emotional, and exactly this made it so heart breaking. This cannot be said about the Death of Queen Jane, which is - to my taste - too thick with sweetness. I neither mean the lyrics, nor the melody - which are traditional - but the way of singing and the arrangement of the instruments.
Anyway, that's all my opinion. I'd be glad to hear/read others, I haven't found too many yet.
Merry Christmas!
I'm not diappoint about this new release. I was hoping to get a new record with new songs but...sincerely listening a traditional record 20 years after her first two traditional records is a very great thing! We can heard the difference beetween her music 20 years ago and new. I like very much this record....not so much like The Visit or The Mask and Mirror but it's really nice. I love the song "The star of county down" it's WONDERFUL! But I think after this song Loreena hadn't put in the set "The wind that...." immedietely after it. They are two songs too much different!
But over it I love the songs "The star of county down" "Brian Boru's March" "The Emigration Tunes" "As I roved out" "Down by the sally gardens" they are my favourites....I don't really like "The death of queen Jane".

I'm very disappoint about one thing: NO BOOKLET AND NO LINER NOTES INSIDE! Why???
Hi there

I have just posted my “complaining” in Lillith’s post.
I come here and see imeldagreen has like the same point as I.
Originally posted by imeldagreen:
However, my first impression was that this album might have been made in a complete rush.

Thank you for being critical as well.
Not all that's good is superb. Wink

Anxious 2 "see" the reactions
Originally posted by Vinylsearch:
I must have played this album 5 or 6 times during the course of today, and I'm still left feeling a little dissapointed...I even prefer "the Seven Rejoices of Mary" to "The Star of the County Down"

Vinylsearch, how COULD you? Loreena has done something magnificent with Star of the County Down...the percussion, the Uillenn Pipes and Tin Whistle...goodness, the arrangement is perfect! I'm in love with the new album. She continues to amaze me everytime she does something new! I'm a sucker for Uilleann Pipes, and there's some AWESOME piping going on in this album Star of the County Down, As I Roved Out and Down By the Salley Gardens being the best examples. As for the title track, there's so much emotion in her vocals that when I sing along, it almost makes me cry...and I don't get emotional over songs like that in a hurry! Loreena's the only one who's ever come close.

In response to those of you who are complaining about the lack of original music, well, if I remember correctly, wasn't there a big "I wish Loreena would do more traditional music" thing going on around here prior to the recording of the album? Make up your mind! Wink Apart from the songs on A Midwinter Night's Dream, Sacred Shabbat has been the only traditional song she's recorded in a studio album since BEFORE she released The Book of Secrets OVER TEN YEARS AGO! So I have been missing the traditional music, and I was excited to hear what she'd do with all these folk songs...some of which I had never heard before!

Dalton, I completely agree: I would LOVE to hear Loreena create a studio recording of The Three Ravens

imeldagreen, I suppose I agree with you about The Death of Queen Jane, but The Lady of Shalott is also very sad, and also has a beutiful melody, does it not?

Yes, Dreaminginmydreams, I want to know where the album booklet is too! VERY disappointed about that!

Elizabeth Tudor, thanks for pointing us toward that review! I completely agree with it! Big Grin

Sorry for that extemely long post! I hope you're all still awake - I'll shut up now...
I do enjoy this recording very much, as no matter what Loreena sings, I melt. Luckily I haven't heard her sing the Barney theme song~PHEW!!! I just would like to say that Loreena does what she wants (must be the red hair Big Grin ) and "polishes the mirror of" her "soul" and I have surrendered many decades ago (maybe not that many) to let people (mainly artist) put out what they see in their mind. Loreena goes so much deep than that and this new cd does take you on a different ride than the others. My dear friend (is waiting not-so-patiently to see her) loves this and is always thanking me for getting it for her.
Still if I had any say in what Loreena does, I'd like more songs similar to The Visit and The Mask and Mirror. Still who am I to say what she should do? I love everything song she sings or hums or la-las!!! I can not say it enough I love her!
Happy eclectic Celticing!

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