Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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(3 out of 5 stars)
"On _Again_, Breton bard Alan Stivell revisits his 'classic' material (the stuff from the first few albums fromthe early 70s) with re-arranged and re-recorded versions of 17 songs. In addition to regular studio musicians, a handful of "special guests" appear here, with Kate Bush playing keyboards on "Kimiad", Shane McGowan singing on "Tri Martolod", etc. A few of the artists Stivell *used* to play with back in those old days appear as well-- Dan Ar Braz, for instance, plays on a couple tracks.As for the album, well, it's a definite shift away from Stivell's more new-agey 80s style(a la_Harpes du Nouvel Age_ and _Legend_) back to Celtic rock. But, in spite of the fact that he's covering his old 70s material, the music doesn't sound at all 'backwards' or old-fashioned... rather he updates the arrangements to give it more of an early 80s/90s vibe. So how is it? Well, it's not bad and I personally prefer it to his new-agey stuff from the 80s. But, to be honest, the original recordings that Stivell did back in the 70s are much better-- maybe not in terms of recording/engineering quality, but in terms of the music itself. Back when he recorded the albums these tunes originally appeared on (_Reflets_, _Chemins de Terre_, _A l'Olympia_, etc.) Stivell was an inspired and committed young artist who was just bursting with excitement, energy, passion, and originality. By contrast, _Again_ is the work of an older musician who seems to be trying to regain some of the lost magic and inspiration of his youth by revisiting the material he made back then. Perhaps it worked, as Stivell's albums since again have been increasingingly strong-- but I'd say that anyone who's thinking of buying this should get some of those early albums (or maybe the compilations "Zoom!" or "Master Serie") instead."
Excellent fusion of celtic and pop/rock music
J. Talsma | Amsterdam, Netherlands | 01/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alan Stivell, renowed harp player, released a wealth of albums, most of them what you might call traditional or conventional. But that doesn't tell too much, isn't it? Legions of bands and artists have one or more "traditionals" on their albums, without revealing who is the author. This is a fine 1993 package of 17 of those traditionals but in a modern setting, more towards pop or if you like rock. Although there are also some beautiful ballads (among them "The Foggy Dew", sung by Shane McGowan of "The Pokes" fame). Stivell sings and plays the most of instruments, of course electric and acoustics harps but also a wild array of pipes and flutes, keyboards, dulcimer, percussion etc. Plenty of guest musicians are also present, among whom Kate Bush, Dan Ar Braz, Davy Spillane. It is very nice music to listen to, very tasty performed, without being too traditional. There are also fine instrumentals. Some songs are really stunning. Once heard, never to forget."