Clannad bridged the gap between traditional Celtic music and pop, and the results were an entrancing, enchanting form of pop that managed to fuse the disparate elements together rather seamlessly, creating an invigorating blend of Irish traditional folk with modern influences. Such fusions have earned the band an international cult of fans.
Clannad are at their best when unleashing gargantuan choruses against Moya Brennan's hushed leads, and the inclusion of the beautiful "Newgrange," a mystical ode to one of Britain s famous stone circles, and "Caislean Oir," the leadoff track from the band's excellent 1985 release, Macalla, are prime examples.
With 30 tracks on 2 CDs, The Essential Clannad touches on fan favorites, collaborations, and songs from films. The material is quite varied in scope, and the arrangements and vocals are vastly pretty and melodic. The full range of the band's styles are presented here, from gorgeous a cappella to slick pop/rock, acoustic guitar ballads, Irish folk strains, and sophisticated power pop crunch.