Thursday, June 21, 2007

Maire (Moya) Brennan--Two Horizons (2003)

Artist-Maire (Moya) Brennan
Album-Two Horizons
Release Date-Nov 25, 2003
Genre/Style-British Folk/Celtic Fusion


Review-Moya Brennan's work away from Clannad has always suffered under the weight of comparisons to her sister, Enya. Her tendency to embrace the new age aesthetic that her sibling is so wrongfully accused of has won her as many detractors as it has supporters. On Two Horizons, Brennan embraces that tag, as well as the lush, Celtic mysticism of Enya, resulting in her finest offering yet. Taking a cue from The Red Violin, the record chronicles the history of a legendary harp used for celebration in Celtic mythology. Brennan, a devout Christian, takes a decidedly secular approach with the material, following the harp through the eyes of slave traders ("Ancient Town") and an African princess ("Sailing Away") to its triumphant return home to Tara in Ireland ("Harpsong"). The arrangements are heavy on the multi-tracked vocals and keyboards that have come to define the contemporary Celtic genre, but are lent authenticity by Maire Breatnach's strings, Martin Carthy's guitar, and Brennan's inspired harp playing. This is melodically charged new age-progressive Celtic music at its best, and fans of Brennan's work with Clannad will find much to love here, while those turned off by the previous descriptor would do well to distance themselves immediately.

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