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Lakefield

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 28, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

LAKEFIELD

Amazon.com

Lakefield, Leahy's second release, is named for the Ontario, Canada, town where the band members grew up. The nine sisters and brothers deliver another potent shot of energetic Celtic music on this album. As on their first release, Leahy, the band mixes superior traditional fiddling with contemporary pop rhythms and modern country harmonies. The singing of Denise Leahy and her sisters on songs like "Borrowed Time" and "A Love Never Known" is pleasant enough in a mainstream, Nashville sort of way, but it's the band's instrumental abilities that really set them apart. On tracks like "Seamus," "Mission," and "Leviathan," the band uses driving fiddles and propulsive tempos to create a new form of Celtic music that perhaps can best be described as "stadium ceilidh." Leahy's sound may not appeal to the traditionalist, but their high spirits, danceable tunes, and instrumental skill will have even the stodgiest purists secretly tapping their toes. --Michael Simmons
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada
  • ASIN: B00005MB0K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Leahy's first CD was a rambunctious offering if a bit rough about the edges. There was a definite passion about it and I have enjoyed it often in the past three years.
I was excited to learn that they had released a new CD and purchased it right away. The first two tracks showed all the previous enthusiasm for their music with considerably more polish than their first CD. They've either gotten a lot better or they spent a lot more time in the studio. Then the third track came along and suddenly the CD started to sound like really bad Christian rock. Technically, the musicianship is good and the quality of the vocals is okay, but the lyrics are insipid and overall the music is uninspiring. I'm sure the songs are meaningful to the composers, but whatever that meaning is, it doesn't get conveyed to the listener. By my second time through the CD, I found myself skipping the vocal tracks to get to the good stuff. I have considered selling the CD, but the instrumental tracks are really, really good.
My advice to Leahy would be to stick to the instrumental music they do best and not waste precious space on their future CD's with vocal cuts. Unless they can come up with much better stuff.
There are six instrumental tracks that get a solid five stars. There are six vocal tracks that get no stars. Average them out and round them up to three stars.
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Format: Audio CD
I picked Lakefield up over the weekend and I must say that I was impressed. The music was almost as good as Leahy's first CD.
The major weakness in this CD (and the main reason for 4 stars rather than 5) is the singing. There are more vocal tracks on this one then in their first one. Unfortunately, the singing is not up to par (the CD is at home, so I'm not sure which of the sisters is actually singing). It is not bad and she does have a good voice. But it's not the greatest. When compared to the instrumentals, the vocal songs are lacking a bit.
That being said, the instrumentals are again wonderful. The fiddle playing is so hard and fast, I almost expect smoke to be coming from my CD player. Yet at other times, it is slow and haunting. This is one talented family. The song that contains step-dancing (Seamus, I believe, but I'm not positive) really gets your feet moving. It's not quite as good as "Call to Dance" on the first CD, but it still grooves nonetheless.
It's not the most traditional Celtic music around, but it's got a good beat, great fiddle playing, and a decent singer. A great example of Celtic rock, at least on the faster tracks. I hope it's not 4 years until the next one. I'd love to see the further development in this group's music. And I'd love to hear the singer's voice after she's had a little more time to take lessons.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of Leahy ever since I saw them live in '97 (and subsequent years) and have been longing for a new album to listen to for a while now. The patience has payed off in a big way and their new album "Lakefield" is absolutley incredible. If you have worn grooves in their first, self-titled CD, you will recognize their prominent sound once again in this new album. The addition of six vocal tracks give the album a more contemporary sound without detracting from the attention-getting fiddle sawing that Leahy is so well known for. The vocals (great harmony!!!) and fiddle playing (fantastic as always!) compliment each other very well. If you are looking for a CD filled with genuine talent and are tired of the prefabricated pop sounds that have taken over today's air waves, give Lakefield a try. Returning fans of Leahy will find it immensely enjoyable as will newcomers. I also really recomend, if you ever have the chance, to see Leahy live. You will be blown away!! if truth be told, their albums ALMOST don't do them justice as part of their je ne sais quoi is seeing them play live. I don't think anyone who has seen them in concert will dispute that...
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Format: Audio CD
I loved Leahy's self-titled debut and have played it endlessly over the last three years, all the while waiting for a new CD. Last week I was at a listening booth and to my surprise...the latest Leahy offering "Lakefield."
I generally do not buy CDs without reading reviews at Amazon.com, but as I sampled the album my foot started tapping. This is addictive music, folks. It updates the traditional Cape Breton Celtic sound with slick production values and this time around six vocal cuts and six instrumentals, all written and performed by Leahy.
About the comments that it doesn't measure up to the first Leahy album: Leahy has had more time to explore more musical directions and styles, and they are very comfortable with their sound. It is haunting, evocative, brimming with energy...the slow songs are just as touching as the blazing fiddle solos and lyrics such as "I hear your voice calling my name/so much I fear/ bearing this pain/ But you are my life/ You are my love." The harmonies are beautiful and remind me of the Rankin Family, another established Canadian Celtic musical family.
The vocals are not substandard as some reviewers will be quick to point out. This is a family of musicians raised with music, not conservatory-trained singers or violinists. Part of the joy of Leahy is their energy and spontaneity. This album is a delight, a perfect combination of fiery fiddles and thoughtful slow songs pondering love and life. It is extremely rare to find a family of nine siblings that all share the same love of music and their cultural heritage and all are extremely talented.
There may not be a song with the commercial appeal of "Call to Dance" but all of the tracks are memorable (and yes, stepdanceable!).
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