Emerald - Musical Gems

Celtic Woman

Manhatten Records, 2014


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Seeing as how the scenario of producers assembling a few good looking young guys who can sing, dance and talk well on camera and thus sell millions of albums has become trite, it's refreshing to see a similar idea adopted with some actual musicians involved. Add in that the all female group would perform traditional Celtic songs and the idea becomes an even better version of the boy band of yesteryear. This is the idea behind Celtic Woman, a massively successful outfit who are already on their ninth studio album since 2005. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

After numerous member changes, this installment of Celtic Woman has Chloe Agnew, Susan McFadden and Lisa Lambe taking vocal duties while Mairead Nesbitt holds down the fiddle. Featuring reworked versions of songs they've already done, Emerald-Musical Gems is the ultimate package for fans with a bonus DVD of concert footage from South Bend, Indiana just last year.

Of the two discs, the strictly audio disc contains staples like "Mo Ghile Mear," a glorious opener with fiddle solos, as well as the mesmerizing world music backbone of "She Moves Thru The Fair." Though everything here is considered a fan favorite, of the more recognizable covers, the haunting Irish classic “Danny Boy” and spellbinding “Amazing Grace” are both redone a way that only these woman could produce. However, the highlight is Susan McFadden's flawless, fairytale-esque version of the Scottish ballad "Caledonia."

The DVD portion is extremely high quality, and the concert is much more than music with impeccable wardrobes, choreography, dancers and a massive stage set. For those who cite the CD of this release as a way to merely repackage already released songs and market them again, the very lengthy DVD is a nice addition to the 12 song CD.

If you're a fan of flawless singing and endless harmonizing set to soothing music, you really can't go wrong here. Even though it's not likely you'll understand much of the singing (they often alternate between English and Irish Gaelic), the beauty emitted is universal. Though some core members are no longer involved, the singing still remains some of the finest you'll hear today. For the first time listener or the unwavering fan, this is either a great introduction to Celtic Woman or an essential piece of your collection.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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