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The Wind That Shakes The Barley
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It opens with a hearty rendition of "As I Roved Out," a ballad about a young soldier secretly meeting his lover one night, which is a pretty earthy peppy song for the usually ethereal McKennitt. And in the same tone, there's the bodhran-tinged melody of "The Star of the Country Down," and the silvery-edged earthiness of "Brian Boru's March."
McKennit sounds more at home in the slower songs: the harp melody of "On A Bright May Morning," the melancholy afternoon ballad "Down By The Sally Gardens," the tragic string-laden title ballad, the melancholy wobbles of "The Death of Queen Jane," and the languid instrumental "The Immigration Tunes."
Best moment in the album: the fairylike shimmers of the final song, "The Parting Glass" (complete with McKennitt's whispered, "... that I should rise/and you should not/I'll gently rise and softly call/Good night and joy be with you all").
"The Wind That Shakes the Barley" is a pretty good glimpse of Celtic music as a whole -- there are peppy songs about pretty girls and Irish lads falling in love, but underneath the surface there is blood, tragedy and powerful emotions. It makes you think of early mornings in the forest, cloudy skies and a gentle rain on green fields that stretch out to the sea.
Unlike in McKennitt's other albums, there isn't any Middle-Eastern or Mediterranean influence in these songs.Read more ›
The Wind that Shakes the Barley contains 9 beautiful celtic pieces. It seemed odd to be listening to Loreena performing just celtic pieces again, and I wondered if this were a cd of unreleased tracks maybe? I don't know. I found it perfectly produced and her voice is as clear and strong as ever. If anything, I found it too short and immediately put it on again for a re-listen.
If you are a fan of her earlier work, this is a fantastic album in that vein. Even tho I much prefer her newer, more "worldly" sound, I still enjoyed this immensely. She is an artist who clearly labors over each song and each album and that come through so strongly in a release such as this.
Edit: I am also surprised there seems to be no MP3 / digital version for sale. I sent a link to a friend to buy and we could not find a digital version for sale here on Amazon or via another service. Odd. Maybe it is forthcoming.
The songs are traditional celtic pieces that Loreena has arranged and she accompanies 4 of them on harp. I think this instrument displays her skill as a musician best and it is not drowned out by loud accoustics.
One of the songs is a tune that she has on her Christmas CD. Here she has used entirely new words, so it is no longer a "Christmas" song. It is pretty - just surprising to have such a radically different story!
She is joined by some of the best musicians and they contribute to making this an enjoyable CD - perfect for relaxing or even listening while you work. Hugh Marsh is again on violin, and I love this man's skill. It would be terrific to see a "Devil Went Down to Georgia" type competition with Itzhac Perlman, another favorite violinist of mine. I don't suppose someone could arrange it? And Caroline Lavelle makes the cello absolutely buttery smooth.
Digressing a bit, I hope that Peter Jackson, now filming the Hobbit, will listen to this music and and realize that Loreena McKennitt is actually part Elvish, and give her a cameo appearance (with music) in the House of Elrond. There is great music and story telling in that great hall, and Loreena should be a shoe-in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found Loreena McLennit years ago and love her songs. I had moved to Utah and had lost some of my CDs, which were in boxes. I found them yesterday and am thrilled. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michele Taylor
Another fantastic, almost perfectly crafted work from Loreena.Published 2 months ago by Jeffrey Cross
Always been a fan of Loreena McKennit. This works brings it all back to her Highlands and Celtic roots and the music, the lyrics, the melodies... Stunning. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Szuri
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Finally, an album that contains songs we don't already have!||
Absolutely! Love this lady!
Oct 11, 2010 by Bartholomew | See all 17 posts
|Amazon Download ? ? ?||
just when I'm getting hooked on my Amazon music downloads...
NO Loreena Mckennitt ... ?
the wind that shakes the barley ... please !
May 1, 2012 by larry | See all 2 posts
|Lyrics?||Be the first to reply|