So this is going to be a little different from my normal pop, rock, and EDM reviews that you’re used to seeing on here.
I love Celtic music! There’s something beautiful about it. I tend to want to hear it in the afternoons, mostly when I’m feeling a little down. It gives me a different vibe then my usual stuff I hear on my iPod at night. I love my heavy stuff, but I like to hear calming music too and this does the trick for me all the time.
Celtic Woman was the first traditional Irish music group that I had ever heard and I first started listening to their music like three or four years ago! Wow! That seems so long ago! I fell in love with the sound, but I had been hearing the traditional Irish folk music for years off and on. I just didn’t bother saying anything because I already have a complicated list of musicians on my iPod as it is! I fell in love with Mairead Nesbitt who is their fiddler/violinist and this woman is the bomb! The more I listened to the songs and finally learning the one swing choir song I had always loved hearing throughout my years in both middle and high school! I got interested into the singers of the group. Chloe Agnew, even though she’s not part of the esmable anymore.
In early December, I recorded the PBS airing of their Emerald concert. I just kind of fell in love with it. If it weren’t for those long breaks throughout the showing, I would have finished it! To know they have released a new album called “Destiny” with their newest members: Mairead Carlin and Eabha McMahon makes me really happy! The album was released later in the US as to the October release date in the UK and native Ireland. So for us in the states, it came out in January! I know, I’m a bit late as to reviewing it.
Let’s start us off with “My Land” and which honestly drew me in first was the length of it. Four minutes and four seconds! That’s my kind of song! One of the things that I love this song is that you can hear everything! The orchestra, the choir, the different dymantics of the singer’s voices. It gives it so much more emotion then you would normally get in a regular pop song! The second is “Siúil A Rúin” and if you’re not too familiar with Celtic Woman or any other traditional Irish group, they usually have a mixture of songs in both English and Irish/Gaelic. Over the years, I’ve found the Irish language one of the most beautiful languages! The English translation seems to be “Walk My Love” and the song as a whole is gorgeous! If I knew how to pronounce more Irish words I would love to sing this song over and over again!
The third is definitely one of my favorites. It’s called “Ride On” and I love the acoustic feel you get in the beginning; it’s gentle and sweet. I actually approve of the new singers, because they add a different sound with their voices! I think Mairead Carlin has a very soft, quiet voice that blends so beautiful with not only this song but with some the group’s other songs! However, I much prefer Eabha’s voice! She has a very deep, more feminine voice that somewhat resembles Sarah McLachlan in a way! These two have alleviated this track and made it stunning. The next is called “The Whole Of The Moon” and it’s very upbeat, which at first I didn’t think I would like! I’m still trying to find the love for these types of tracks. They’re good, don’t get me wrong! I’m sure I’ll come to my senses sooner or later, but right now, not so much! The next one doesn’t necessarily involve any singing, it’s more of an instrumental! It’s the “Skyrim Theme” you mainly hear the band, male and female vocalizations, and the lovely Mairead Nesbitt playing out this track!
The sixth track is called “How Can I Keep Me From Singing” and I had to look a couple of times to make sure I wrote that out right! It’s a bit of a toe twister (get it?) for me! Anyways, I love the ominous beginning and like I said about Eabha’s voice being deep and alluring, it’s just her performing the whole song! I absolutely love it! I feel at peace whenever I hear this one playing! It would be the perfect song to use to mediate or to get your baby down for a nap! The next is “I See Fire” and you might be familiar with this track as it was performed by Ed Sheeran for the film The Hobbit: The Desolution Of Smaug back in 2013. I was really curious to see how this would be, because I’ve heard Ed’s version quite a few times since it was released and I’m not going to lie, the lady did it better! Sorry Ed! If there was a chance, I would like to see Mairead Carlin and Ed did a duet of this song! I think it would be pretty cool!
The next two songs are in the native Irish titles, starting with “Tir Na Nog” featuring Oonagh. This is another upbeat, peppy song so I found better than the other song. It has an interesting point of the track where you can hear rhythmic clapping and stomping. I loved that! The English translation for this one is “Land Of Ever Young”. The next one is “Óró Sé Do Bheatha ‘Bhaile” and this one is fully in Gaelic and it’s has an upbeat sound to it, but it’s more mellow! The English translation for this title is “Oh-ro, You Are Welcome Here” The next one is called “Sometimes A Prayer Will Do” and I don’t normally like gospel/church songs as much as I used to as a kid, but I find myself liking them whenever Celtic Woman remakes them! This is very beautiful! This is performed by Susan McFadden and she did a fantastic job on this!
This next one is very cute! It might be the intro, sometimes Irish music does this to me! I get a little giddy about a sound or a line of the verse and it instantly becomes a favorite of mine! In this case, it’s the scatting–I guess that’s what they’re doing!–that I actually got drawn to! This is called “Bean Phadlin” and the ladies are singing in both English and Irish. Next is called “Westering Home” and I’m on the fence about this one, even though it’s a slow one. It even has a little soul to it and I’m unsure if I like it, seriously? It even goes from slow and builds up into the complex sound with orchestra and pipes! Of course, the next one is more uplifting and I actually like it. It reminds me of a big party! The title is “When You Go” and it seems like a lovey dovey type of song! The next one has a gorgeous intro, just piano! Ugh! I am in love already! It’s called “Like An Angel Passing Through My Room” and Mairead Carin is performing it. I love songs like these; they’re soft but inviting for everyone to enjoy! This is the longest song on the album with five minutes and thirteen seconds!
We’re almost done I promise! Number fifteen is “Walk Beside Me” and Eabha performs this one, I’ve found another way to describe her voice. She makes the songs seem a little country, but I don’t say that in a bad way! It’s just a feeling I get the more I hear her sing! I really like this! The next one is very unique, just the introduction alone starts off slow and mysterious with the classic flute, then you hear little sounds in the background that give it this playful vibe to it and Mairead Nesbitt starts playing and it just gets better and better. This is of course called “The Hills Of Ireland” which if Ireland ever had a song in general to describe it in movies, books, or anybody saying the word out loud this is how I would picture it in my head! Perfect sounds of Ireland!
I’m not going to lie, I listened to this album for an hour and a half and I definitely don’t regret a thing! I even went and looked up a couple of live clips on YouTube because this album also comes with a DVD of the concert version of the songs, including Meav Ni Mhaolchatha performing with all four ladies! I’ve already told my mom that I might actually include this album on my list to buy when we go back to the Record Cellar because it’s so damn good! A few days later, my mom found the concert they held in Dublin and performed the songs on the album and a couple of others throughout, but she was stunned that she found it at all because she literally doesn’t watch anything on the local channels on her own, she records everything! I’m a little addicted to it I’m not going to lie!
Have you listened to “Destiny” yet? What were your favorite songs from it?