Top positive review
on July 11, 2013
I often approach music with a certain amount of trepidation. As with any other art, there's the good, the bad, the insipid, and everywhere in between. So I'm not entirely sure what compelled me to purchase this CD sound-unheard, but I'm glad I did.
I found the album to be a bit unusual, which is good, seeing as how many Celtic music collections end up recycling many of the same songs for better or worse. For all that it's billed as a more or less as an upbeat dance collection, I found that for the most part, the rhythm track didn't trample the rest of it, as can often happen. Casadh's pieces, especially "Tall Trees, Long Shadows" (which has been stuck in my head a lot recently), remind me a lot of Mairead Nesbitt's "Raining Up" and are my favorites on this disk. I'd certainly look for other work by her. I found Crabtree's to be somewhat reminiscent of the Welsh techno group DJ SG (I'm rather fond of their arrangement of "Migldi Magldi."), but less aggressive. Taheny & Reid's flute work is delightfully fast and quite impressive. One can definitely hear the differences in style between the artists involved.
I disagree somewhat with statements by other reviewers that once you've heard the first three songs, you've heard the whole thing. Though with the similar rhythm tracks, I can certainly see how one could be left with that impression and that does tend to lend a certain unity to the whole. Though Crabtree's pieces do sound similar, possibly to the point of being interpreted as the same piece divided into four movements. If you're looking for something Celtic to DJ during a party, this is perfect. All the pieces are fairly long which, while some might find boring, is great for parties...and piping through an iPod at work. I feel this would be just as good, if not better, if the rhythm tracks of most of the songs, which seemed canned/synthesized to me, were replaced with, say bodhran or some-such (Celtic Woman's lead percussionist Ray Fean comes to mind.), which would I think lend a certain amount of, shall we say, warmth even while preserving the tempo. I could see this being even better if Avalon Artists were to revisit and rearrange their contributions following in the footsteps of, say, Celtic Woman. Overall, the album's a lot of fun!