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Elemental


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Elemental
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Audio CD, January 20, 1994
$11.79 $0.01

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 20, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Quinlan Road
  • ASIN: B000000LXB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,923 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blacksmith
2. She Moved Through The Fair
3. Stolen Child
4. The Lark in The Clear Air
5. Carrighfergus
6. Kellswater
7. Banks of Claudy
8. Come By The Hills
9. Lullaby

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This 1985 album represents the debut of Loreena McKennitt. If there was justice in the world, it would have represented her commercial breakthrough. (That didn't come until 10 years later). Though her work became more complex as time passed, all the elements were already in place: her beautiful voice, ethereal arrangements, and her exotic adaptations of traditional songs. McKennitt is smarter than Enya and a better singer to boot. Her version of William Blake's "Lullaby," the best yet put on CD, is alone worth the price of this CD. --Charles R. Cross

Customer Reviews

This is the latest of her albums I've gotten and I think it is very good.
Callie
The next song, "Stolen Child," is Loreena's adaptation of a poem by the renowned Irish poet, W.B. Yeats.
kjenfan
Beautiful, haunting songs and Loreena's lovely voice interpreting them, this CD is excellent.
Antoinette L. Neil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Emily Snyder on December 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
One of Loreena McKennitt's earlier albums, "Elemental" is a beautiful album of classic and new Celtic songs and poetry. The overall tone is light, like the air after a storm, and wonderful for late-night relaxing. While this album remains purely Celtic in tone (rather than adding in Spanish or Indian elements as "The Mask and the Mirror" and "The Book of Secrets" do), Ms. McKennitt slips expectational boundaries with stunning success in "Carrighfergus" (playing harmony to a gentleman's voice) and in the passionate and rumbling "Lullaby" (picking drops of notes beneath the literal recitition of a poem by Blake). And like Blake's "Songs of Innocence and Experience," Ms. McKennitt weaves together love and death, elation and remorse as common themes in all her songs. An altogether ethereal collection.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By bluestockingbelle on March 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a superb CD, and it makes a wonderful lullaby album, as I discovered with my daughter. Every song on it (except the last, which I find to be out of place) is gorgeous in its lyrics, melody, and arrangement. It is quite hard for me to choose a favorite, but I believe "She Moved Through the Fair" to be exceptional. Loreena McKennitt's choice to make the piece essentially a cappella adds to its haunting quality -- what "musical" sounds she included (the birds and the bells) are perfect. I listen to this CD every day and look forward to hearing it each time.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Loreena McKennitt is not one of those vocal artists whose voice is lost amidst background music that is either too loud or too overwrought. Her voice is as crystal clear as stars seen against a cold, night, desert sky. And what a magnificent voice it is.
For me, "Elemental" does not evoke the emotional tugs of "The Visit", another of the artist's CDs reviewed by me on this website. However, the former's program of traditional Celtic ballads exposes the listener to Loreena's incredible talent as a singer and musician. (I must admit here that I consider Barbra Streisand to have the most perfect voice I've ever heard. That likely makes me "square". However, more to the point of this review, Loreena is a very close second, in my opinion, in terms of vocal purity.)
The best reasons to buy this CD are tracks 5 and 8. The former, "Carrighfergus", is a duet by tenor Cedric Smith and McKennitt. It's more of a showcase for Smith - a relatively short, but beautifully intense, ballad of lost love. Track 8, "Come By the Hills", is a soulful tribute to a wild and mountainous region of the British Isles which I assume to be the Scottish Highlands, though it's not identified specifically as such. In any case, I've been to the Highlands, and the song fits.
If you've not previously had the privilege of listening to this amazing Canadian vocalist, then "Elemental" is an excellent introduction.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By C. B Collins Jr. on July 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Loreena McKennitt is always good, her music never disappoints. There are three highlights to this CD, the first three songs.

She starts with her interpretation of the traditional "Blacksmith" followed by a haunting version of "She Moved Through the Fair".

However it is the third song that soars. Loreena has put William Butler Yeat's classic poem "Stolen Child" to music and the poem takes flight with her orchestration and vocals.

The lyrics remain crisp and emotive with such lines as:

Where dips the rocky highland

Of sleuth wood in the lake

There lies a leafy island

Where flapping herons wake

The drowsy water rats

There we've hid our fairy vats

Full of berries

And of reddest stolen cherries.

Come away oh human child

To the waters and the wild

With a faery hand in hand

For the world's more full of weeping

Than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses

The dim grey sands with light

By far off furhter rosses

We foot it all the night

Weaving olden dances

Mingling bands and mingling glances

Till the moon has taken flight

To and fro we leap

And chase the frothy bubbles

whilst the world is full of troubles

And is anxious in its sleep.
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Olive Martini on January 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Her first recording is very naked and basic compared to everything that followed. It is mostly traditional folk songs, with a few embellishments from Loreena. She features her harp playing on most (all) of the songs as well as her exquisite voice. As much as I like all of her albums, this is my favourite! So simple and hauntingly beautiful, I wish she would return to this sound every once and a while.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Brianna Neal on October 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is Loreena McKennitt unplugged, on what is--to my knowledge--her first album. These are gentle, wistful songs, primarily minor in flavor and performed in a fairly traditional manner. "Elemental" is a short CD, only about 33 minutes long. Eight of its nine songs are vocals--mostly Loreena singing in her sweet, lilting voice to her own harp accompaniments, although gentle additions of acoustic bass, accordion, synthesizer, cello, guitar and occasional multitracks of her own voice sometimes enhance the pieces as well. "Carrighfergus" is a duet with singer and guitarist Cedric Smith, and Lullaby is a poem by William Blake, read by Douglas Campbell and accompanied by McKennitt's vocalise and instrumentation. Other guest artists include cellist Pat Mullin and acoustic bass player George Greer. There's none of the bodaceous intensity and world music instrumentations of McKennitt's later work (like "The Mask and the Mirror" and "The Book of Secrets") but a delicate, dreamy magic drifts through this album that is delightfully restful and soothing. And her deft, delicate, evocative arrangements of harp and harmony, even at this early stage of her career, stand out as something special. Follow Loreena McKennitt's development as a musician and composer by collecting all her wonderful works! Her next release after "Elemental" was "To Drive the Cold Winter Away," followed by "Parallel Dreams." Try also the work of Kim Robertson and Aine Minogue, two more elegantly innovative harpists and composers.
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