Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Book of Secrets
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
BONUS DVD (PAL)
BONUS DVD (PAL)
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An evocative musical quest.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 07/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, what a wonderful album. Loreena McKennitt's voice is a marvel, synthesizing the superhuman accuracy and strength of operatic soprano with the rich narrative quality of folk singers. Her skill as a composer is likewise impressive, as she stacks ethnic influences on a foundation of tried-and-true Celtic resources that makes for beautiful and compelling songcraft. The pristine recording quality heightens the album's mystique, making every instrument perfectly clear in even the broadest arrangement.And isn't that voice beautiful? Each song tells its own story, but the beautiful, exotic soundscapes lend themselves very much to the listener's imagination. "Marco Polo" might evoke images of Oriental landscapes, while "Skellig" generates lamenting -- and somewhat romantic -- imagery. If the gorgeous and elegiac "Dante's Prayer" doesn't give you goosebumps, you must be a zombie. Especially noteworthy is the tragic ballad "The Highwayman" set to music. This ten-minute piece seems a bit repetitive for the first few listens, although you'll later find that the immaculately crafted composition subtly builds in intensity, adding the presence of stronger percussion and a more desperate, emotional flavor. I can't explain it, but "Night Ride Across the Caucasus" means a lot to me deep down. It must be something in the heavenly poetry, the exquisite melodies, or the stunning vocals. The chorus really is the best thing ever...well, almost!And she sings like an angel, doesn't she? Additionally, this CD features a great set of liner notes that sports little bits from McKennitt's journals, highlighting some of the influences for these songs, which I found very interesting. Some of those ethnic touches are hard to put your finger on, so having it pointed out helps. Great cover art too...really sets the tone for the album, I think.And her voice sure is gorgeous, isn't it?"
Cast your Eyes on the Ocean
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 06/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Loreena McKennitt is a singer songwriter who defies generalizations. While primarily in the Celtic tradition, she is always pushing the borders. Sometimes traditional and sometimes completely inventive she is capable of perpetual surprises."The Book of Secrets" is a musical journey through the relatives and contemporaries of the Celtic tradition. She mixes themes from Europe and Near East with the rhythmic and instrumental approaches of the Celtic world. The effect is hypnotic. The eerie and contemplative 'Prologue' shifts to the strong melodic work of 'The Mummers' Dance' recalling ancient spring rituals of rebirth. 'Skellig' has an almost Renaissance flavor as it voices the contemplative farewell song of an Italian monk.'Marco Polo' echoes Oriental touches with Sufi melodies, capturing the ecstatic nature of that tradition perfectly. The, in an almost magical transition McKennitt switches to one of my favorites, 'The Highwayman.' This is a resetting of an Alfred Noyes poem, a dramatic stories of sacrifice and vengeance over melodic fiddle work and dancing drums. 'La Serenissima' is a return to the medieval contemplative, playing harp and fiddle against each other.'Night Ride Across the Caucasus' uses Asiatic styling over the pulsing beat of horses in motion to recall the spiritual journey of the alchemist and the quest of the mystic. 'Dante's Prayer,' the final song of the album, is another personal favorite. Occasioned by a trip across the Russian Steppes it opens with an echo of Russian Orthodox melody and then shifts to a melodic, contemporary sound as McKennitt voice sings a beautiful plaint that echoes the love songs of Sufi poetry, whose object is the Beloved, the divine. "Cast your eyes on the ocean, Cast your soul to the sea," she sings, "When the dark night seems endless, Please remember me."Recording quality is immaculate, with a fine atmospheric aura. McKennit's voice is soft and full, possibly the best I've ever hear hit. Her skill as a lyricist is every bit as good as her musical talents. This is an extraordinary album which will provide countless hours of pleasure and thought. Enjoy."
Deserves 10 Stars!
Rebecca Johnson | 09/06/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard the song Mummer's Dance on the trailer for the movie "Ever After". After doing some investigation, I was able to find the CD and I immediately ordered it. Boy am I glad I did! The music is so beautiful, I find every song a completely different tone and melody. It's perfect for listening to while reading. Strangely though, I found 4 songs on the CD that I like better than Mummer's Dance. I would say, in order, my 5 favorites are : (7) Night Ride across the Caucasus (It is so haunting and wonderful, I absolutely LOVE it!) (3) Skellig (I love the story-telling aspect of this song, it really make you feel like you are really there) (8) Dante's Prayer (This song is so soft and soothing, it makes a perfect ending) (5) The Highwayman (McKinnett turned this poem into something so realistic you feel like you are there) (2) Mummer's Dance. Perhaps it's the fact I have heard Mummer's Dance the most that makes me like it less. This album is wonderful, and about two weeks after you have it you will start to crave all of her other CD's!"