Copyright 1997 turtlemusik
A&M Group Records, Polygram Group Canada Inc.
1355 Denison Street
Markham, Ontario L3R 5V2
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 2/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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It's a remarkable achievement to be able to gather up and transport listeners to far off lands based solely on sounds, with no lyrical assistance or at least lyrics in a language common to the listener. Cape Breton's Mary Jane Lamond accomplishes such a feat in her latest release, performing songs in Scottish Gaelic and backed by a bevy of instruments--Highland bagpipes, Irish bodhran, cello, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, drums and percussion, and bass. She also incorporates stepdancers and authentic sounds such as looms and spinning wheels from the Cape Breton wool mills, enhancing the authenticity and aural "feel" on certain cuts.
The remarkable achievements of this release are the transcendent beauty and magnetism of the music. The sound is affecting, eliminating any lyrical language barrier. Lamond notably melds old and new, blending traditional songs into current interpretations, without any sign of heavyhandedness.
The result is often atmospheric and lush but without the gauzy coverings often associated with other performers. Lamond will journey from fairly austere milling tunes to cuts pulsing with danceable beats and rhythms, from soothing and hypnotic songs to popish-sounding numbers. Sometimes, she ventures through more than one territory within the same composition.
Her vocals are smooth, strong and supple, acclimating to each cut's nuances.
This release will be a challenge to radio programmers because playing one cut or two, here and there, will not convey the rich spectrum of of Lamond's interpretative and creative efforts. So seek this one out to enjoy its full effect.
All songs traditional.
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