Monday, August 17, 2009

Loreena McKennitt- Parallel Dreams


This is pretty much a textbook example of a transitional album. The sound is considerably fuller than the first two albums, but it's still closer to what came before that what came after it. However, the fact that it's halfway in between those two styles makes some of the tracks seem unfinished at times (a problem that was never in evidence on the previous records).
There's also some synthesizer, which feels awfully dated when it comes up (this was recorded in 1989, after all), although it's thankfully not used to as much excess as some other popular Celtic music of the time. *coughClannadcough* Also, some of the songs just don't work well; "Annachie Gordon" goes on for far too long, and "Dickens' Dublin" would have been a lot better without the voiceover from a little girl that makes it sound like Loreena was trying to get airplay on numbers stations. There are some better efforts, though; I especially enjoyed"Huron 'Beltane' Fire Dance," which bridges Gaelic and First Nations musical traditions quite nicely.
In short, Parallel dreams isn't a terrible album or anything, but it's awfully uneven; Loreena McKennitt was experimenting, but she wasn't entirely successful. Such is the nature of the beast.

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