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Truly lovely exceptional songs, sung in Mary's pure voice.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all of you Mary Black fans, this is one of her best. She has picked very intimate, remarkable songs, some of which may move you to tears. Not of sadness, but of tenderness, beauty, understanding. You'll enjoy this one."
Single best Mary Black album I know of!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I came to Mary Black's music via her concept album "The Holy Ground" in the early '90s. I was captivated by her song-selection, arrangements and, of course, that voice. Haunting, enagaging, mystical allusions abound, yet in "The Circus" I found an even greater fullness, as the songs have more to do with real-life relationships (with the musical arrangements, if possible, even richer in tone). John Gorka's "All that Hammering" and Mary Chapin Carpetner's "The Moon and St Christopher" are high points, as are the title song, "Gabriel" and "Into the Blue." "Donegal Breeze" harks back to her Irish homeland, and the live "Raven in the Storm" shows how exciting she can be outside the studio too. "The Circus" would be my "desert island" choice, had I but one Mary Black cd to choose. Enjoy!"
An album I can't get tired of!
Charles A. Olsen | Washington State, USA | 11/10/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Great album all the way through-like good country music, it is soulful, introspective even, but keeps a steady pace and rich texture. I have listened to it almost every day for several months and am not tired of it yet. I can't say that many other albums have survived 100 listens as far as I am concerned.
I came rather warily to this album; for many years, all I ever heard of "Irish music" was either the folk stuff with tin whistle, fiddle, harp, and pipes; or the old-school tenors ala John McCormick and Morton Downey Sr; or else the sleep-inducing New Agey stuff ala Enya. But Mary Black, with The Pogues and a few others, is opening up a new horizon in world music for me. I expect this album to survive another 100 listens and keep going strong."