Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Mask & Mirror
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop, Rock
BONUS DVD (PAL)
BONUS DVD (PAL)
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Member CD Reviews
Kim T. from BEDIAS, TX
Reviewed on 12/13/2012...
We love every song on this CD, a real pleasure to listen to in many different moods.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A Celtic and Mid-Eastern Fantasy
Emily Snyder | 12/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Mask and the Mirror" by Loreena McKennitt was my first introduction to this fascinating artist who blends Celtic and Mid-Eastern traditional music into one excellent whole. Although some may find the juxtaposition startling (supposing that Ms. McKennitt is solely a Celtic artist, perhaps from her other albums "The Visit," "Elemental" and "Parallel Dreams"), others will soon recognize its merit.This album, perhaps more than her others, is especially dancelike. Beginning with "The Mystic's Dream's" quick tempo, to the clogging beat of "The Bonny Swans," from the twirling "Marrakesh Night Market," to "Santiago's" seductive pace, one longs only for a veil and a sense of footwork. Intersperced are beautiful, yearning renderings, such as "The Dark Night of the Soul" and "Prospero's Speech" (her Shakespearean farewell).Naturally, there are those, such as the poor unfortunate beneath me, who will not appreciate her work. But for those looking for excellence and mystery in their normal Celtic fare, consider adding Loreena McKennit to your list of favourite artists. So kick back, close your eyes, and allow your imagination to wander past the mask and through the mirror."
Exotic and beautiful.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 08/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Mask and Mirror is perhaps Loreena McKennitt's most exotic collection of songs. The arrangements enclose a gamut of conventional Celtic instruments as well as Middle Eastern, Indian, and ancient flavors of the Mediterranean Sea. Although the Celtic element is definitely reduced here, it is in many ways the most instrumentally interesting of all her albums. Plus, her voice is stunning. Her technique is astonishing, and the actual sound of her voice is heavenly.As soon as you press Play and hear the hypnotizing notes opening "The Mystic's Dream," your world melts away to be replaced by the images summoned forth by McKennitt's lush, evocative music. Her own gorgeous, superhuman voice opens, singing wordless notes that are bound to give you chills. Drawing closer to the song's first verse, a ghostly male choir layers McKennitt's voice producing a spellbinding harmony effect. The production is just stunning, and you can see it this early in the album...all mystical echoes and visceral instruments and clarity. McKennitt's voice is yearning and haunting, but beautiful all the same. "The Bonny Swans" is a traditional lyric turned into a peppy tune with cool call-and-response between the electric guitar and fiddle. This song...well, it boogies! Often, McKennitt's music is emotionally heavy and somber, so it's nice that this song is surprisingly fun."The Two Trees," preceded by a lovely pipe intro (which is unfortunately short), is affixed to gorgeous, flowing piano chords that glide upon a layer of solemn strings. McKennitt set Yeats' poem to music with remarkable grace and acuity for the nature of the words, here...it's absolutely wonderful. Her vocal melodies are magical the way they heighten the power of the poetry in some ineffable manner. And even though the song is more than nine minutes, I really wish it'd last longer, because it's so beautiful. The ethnic touches abound on "Marrakesh Night Market," where the instruments and lyrics paint a picture so vivid it's impossible not to see the marketplace. The dashing, lyricless but not vocal-less "Santiago" at once raises a smile with its sprightly folk-dance drive; but the ethnic touches cause one to marvel at McKennitt's ingenuity as a composer. There's some wonderful, spirited fiddle solos on this song. "The Dark Night of the Soul," despite the ominous title, is a romantic song that, as McKennitt explains is the excellent CD booklet (which features bits of journal entries), it's actually a metaphorical song about a man's love for his god. The chorus is very beautiful. "Prospero's Speech" is too short...kind of a missed opportunity, but it's good while it lasts.This review was kind of random in terms of my train of thought and its structure, but I hope I've told you what you want to know (i.e. whether or not this is good stuff). Or just take my word for it when I say the album possesses an exquisite beauty that needs to be heard to be appreciated. Forget reading my fruitless attempts to convey the wondrous quality of these songs...just listen for yourself. I'm sure you'll be impressed."