101 of 108 people found the following review helpful
Thanks to Public Broadcasting, the musical quintet CELTIC WOMAN has quite a fan base. It's easy to see why. They are pleasing performers who perform beautiful music together. They have their own sound which has a broad appeal. This makes the group natural candidates for a Christmas collection that will be loved not just by fans but anyone who loves holiday music. This collection does not disappoint.
Most of the tracks in this collection are traditional Christmas titles both religious to the secular. The temptation of many performers is to just sing some Christmas songs and hope for the best. CELTIC WOMAN does the opposite. There is a true ensemble approach to the music and we never get a sense of competition or jealousy. The carols are performed with reverence and the contemporary songs are pleasant. The authentic Celtic music and selections from the British Isles are perhaps the strongest in the collection. There is a distinct Celtic sound where appropriate including the beautiful violin (fiddle) playing of group member Mairead Nesbitt, but numbers where a Celtic flair would be out of place are performed traditionally with wonderful arrangements. The selections are varied, so it should be enjoyed by just about anyone who loves holiday music.
My guess is that fans of CELTIC WOMAN will not need a review to convince them to purchase this CD. For those who may not be familiar with this ensemble, if you're looking for a varied Christmas CD with beautiful music and wonderful arrangements that will both entertain and sooth, then CELTIC WOMAN: A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION fits the bill. I'm sure it will be a popular holiday release this year and in many years to come.
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
I have over 40 Christmas CDs and around a dozen Christmas cassettes (remember those?), and every year, I buy a few more to add to my collection.
I was in the store debating on which Christmas CD to get, and I kept going back to Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration. I saw a TV advertisement for it, but I wasn't all that familiar with this group of women.
I finally decided to buy it, and I'm very glad I did! We've been in the throes of the "holiday season" since before Thanksgiving (my son and I are such kids!), and I find myself reaching for this Christmas CD more than any other! In fact, I just got done listening to it as I was typing up some reviews.
It's a very calming CD, but not saccharine or forced. The singing is at times lilting and playful, but not obnoxiously operatic in the least. There's a subtle Irish flavor to the music, but it's NOT like listening to a Riverdance soundtrack.
Carol of the Bells is one of my absolute favorite Christmas songs and, to tell you the truth, seeing that it was on this CD cinched my purchase. Lovely soft violin and ethereal choral singing that swell to a rousing (but, again, not obnoxious) culmination--beautiful! This is testament to GREAT sound mixing, not just wonderful performances by the ladies. (I use to run/mix sound for recording, so I have an hear for that kind of thing. Some mixes have one instrument too loud and insistent or perhaps the voices are overpowering--not this CD. Everything is a perfect mix.) Other songs, like Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, are vocally driven, with beautiful harmonies that don't sound sappy or artificial like some CD's out there.
I can't see how anyone would be disappointed with this lovely CD. I enjoy hearing traditional favorites, as well as holiday songs unfamiliar to me. I play it while reading, relaxing, cooking, writing--well, you get the picture!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2006
O Come All Ye Faithful Celtic Woman fans to a Christmas Celebration! What a wonderful collection of songs for the holiday season. The girls have out done themselves in Angelic voices and perfect harmony to bring together all that will send your memories into overdrive. Who doesn't remember a warm fireplace and the smell of spiced apples or cookies being whipped up on a cold winter day? All these memories will come up to the surface with festive tunes of Christmas as Carol of the Bells or Ding Dong Merrily on High. Nothing can compare to Meav singing Silent Night or Lisa Kelly's The Christmas Song. The beautiful vocal arrangement of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas will simply warm your soul. Of course, the girls have to show you that they can sing any style song with the swing arrangement of Let It Snow! David Downes' masterful arranging and Celtic Woman's beautiful voices combine to give something for everyone on this Yule tide CD whether your tastes are traditional Irish, festive, religious, or swing! Buy it now and start your season right.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This is by far one of the most enchanting and magical Christmas CDs I've listened to in a long time! If you were impressed with Celtic Woman, I promise that this CD will not disappoint! Every track is most worthy of its own private review. The vocals are stunning, Mairead's violin performances are magical, and the accompanying instruments are so beautiful that I guarantee that you will be carried away to another time and place.
The CD itself is filled with traditional carols (O Holy Night, Silent Night, Ding Dong Merrily on High, Carol of the Bells, O Come All Ye Faithful), contemporary carols (White Christmas, The Christmas Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy, Let it Snow) and a couple of carols I was not familiar with (Christmas Pipes, Panis Angelicus, Don Oiche Ud I Mbeithil and the Wexford Carol).
Christmas Pipes is a fun, more energetic song that brings to mind gatherings with friends, kissing under the mistletoe and sharing hot cocoa. Panis Angelicus is a gentle, soothing song, while Don Oiche Ud I Mbeithil (That Night in Bethlehem) is so tender and contemplative that it brought tears to my eyes. The Wexford Carol brings to mind carolers in Victorian England.
Both the traditional carols and the more contemporary carols are so beautifully done that I can't imagine that anyone could ever do a more beautiful version.
I would have to say I love the entire CD, and find that I want to listen to the whole thing over and over rather than skipping from song to song. I would highly recommend "Celtic Woman A Christmas Celebration" to anyone wishing to make this season more magical and inspired for themselves and their loved ones.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2006
This is a simple yet elegant cd by five of the worlds best singers. Each song has a touch of the Irish flavor. These are inspirational, beautiful, fun and unique rendentions of some our best loved standard Christmas songs and the Celtic Christmas song which I have never heard before are now among my favorites. I have been serenaded by Angles. I can just see Jesus smiling as these ladies sang to, for and about his daya of birth.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2006
Critics of Celtic Woman will point out that it really isn't Celtic music--it's just more pop/classical music that doesn't have any real musical value. Well, I happen to be a big Celtic Woman fan since I heard them the first time, but let's assume every bit of that is true. This album is still terrific, and here's why...
This is Christmas music--nothing more and nothing less. There is no pretention of Celtic music per se, just gorgeous voices singing beautiful carols that we all love. I dare you to find a vocal Christmas album that sounds this beautiful and crisp. That's not to say I don't enjoy listening to Bing Crosby or Perry Como, but the soothing quality of this music is hard to top. The only track that tackles the pop culture of Christmas music is the bonus track "Let it Snow!" saved for the very end.
You can knock the group if you want, but if you don't like this album it's because you don't like Christmas music!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2006
I'll have to be honest I am a big CW fan. I have all their CDs and the CW DVD so I'm biased in their favor. I expected a great Christmas CD. What I got was perfection!!! The sweetest Christmas music anyone can expect to hear this side od the Pearly Gates. Their voices blend together in a beautiful harmony. Every sone is a winner. If want to enjoy Christmas music this holiday season purchase trhis CD. You will not be disappointed!!!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I rushed out to buy this album on it's release date and I was not disappointed in the purchase. Every song is beautiful and their voices blend so well. This is an excellent album and anyone who loves Christmas music will LOVE this CD. Everything from the song selection, the arrangements, and the voices is perfection. Hauntingly beautiful.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2006
I was expecting more. The arrangements were just like every other Christmas CD I have heard and own. I was hoping for something more Irish/Celtic in feel and sound like so much of their other music. I am sure that there is music that could have been included that would have given us a true taste of Ireland and Scotland. I think they should have went out on a limb, explored and give us much more that I know they are capable of doing.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2006
I have heard the original "Celtic Woman" and seen one of the TV shows, and I would have to say that the CD mostly lived up to my expectations. The voices are lovely and the production/music values are high. My objection to the CD is its mismatch of songs and voices. Many of the songs on the original Celtic Woman had a slow, sad, mourning tone, as perhaps is fitting for the sad songs of Ireland. However, these excellent, soft voices, which capture mourning and sadness so well, seem mismatched with upbeat, American Christmas songs. "Let It Snow" is perhaps the most jarring, with its big-band introduction. The first two songs, "O Holy Night" and "Away in a Manger," are the best, especially as one hears the soft Irish lilt on "the little Lord Jesus." However, I strongly recommend and prefer the original "Celtic Woman" CD.