The Visit [Enhanced]by Loreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt's fourth release, and first for a major label, is a quietly majestic tapestry of worldbeat and Celtic pop that effortlessly weaves together traditional and contemporary songs into lush showcases for her fluid voice and harp. The multi-talented Canadian utilizes all of her strengths here, resulting in her most rewarding batch of tunes to date. With larger production values and more ambitious arrangements than the sparse Elemental and Parallel Dreams, her flair for the dramatic and the theatrical runs rampant throughout. Whether she's toasting the souls of the departed with Pagan glee on the delicious "All Souls Night," or reinterpreting King Henry VIII's "Greensleeves" through Tom Waits, it's never without both feet in the water. Often when artists attempt to blend modern instruments (keyboards, guitars, etc.) into the traditional folk idiom, the results are instantly dated and horribly overwrought. McKennitt, however, never allows the two to compete, and it's a testament to her belief in the songs themselves that they don't devolve into garish new age drivel. Her adaptation of Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott," which utilizes an opening melody lifted -- probably unknowingly -- from the bagpipe solo at the end of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)," is The Visit's most powerful moment. Clocking in at 11 minutes, the poet's lovelorn tale of Camelot's most famous peasant maiden is rendered brief by McKennitt's breathless delivery and atmospheric and austere presentation. The Visit is Loreena McKennitt at her most comfortable, creative, and soulful.
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Performance CreditsLoreena McKennitt Primary Artist,Accordion,Harp,Keyboards,Vocals,Bodhran
Brian Hughes Acoustic Guitar,Balalaika,Electric Guitar
Hugh Marsh Fiddle
Anne Bourne Cello
Patrick Hutchinson uillean pipes
George Koller Bass,Fiddle,Cello,Sitar,Tamboura
Rick Lazar Percussion,Udu
Technical CreditsBrian Hughes Producer
Loreena McKennitt Arranger,Composer,Producer,Author,Adaptation
John Whynot Engineer
Jeff Wolpert Engineer
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
William Shakespeare Composer
Alfred Lord Tennyson Composer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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In general, this is a very enjoyable disc. I particularly enjoy `All Soul's Night': upbeat, rousing, and memorable. However, `The Lady of Shalott' tends to drag: it's essentially the same short, simple, slow melody repeated for several verses. Her later attempts at setting works of poetry or traditional ballads work better, in my opinion. Repetitive tunes, yes, but they're more interesting and less likely to lull you to sleep. In addition, I found her interpretation of `Greensleeves' to be fairly jarring; I'm used to a very traditional, Renaissance-style rendering of the tune. Overall, though, definitely worth having.
My intro to LK was hearing ''Bonny Portmore'' on one of the ''Highlander'' movies. This is still my favorite LK song, both for its' message and because she performs it beautifully. All of her CD's are wonderful, I recommend any or all of them. She incorporates history, unusual melodies, and her lilting soprano voice to deliver a sound that is quite unique. Dante's Prayer, The Mummer's Dance, All Soul's Night, Courtyard Lullaby, are all breathtaking. I believe she also deserves respect for the hard work she has done to achieve her present success. Her achievement should be an inspiration to others.
It was with this recording that Loreena McKennitt began to add more depth and drive to her beautiful Celtic music, creating an irresistible and compelling blend of dark and light. Her compositions ron ¿The Visit¿ range from sweet and simple to complex and cinematic, sweeping the listener up into an urgent adventure of driving percussion, mad fiddling and richly synthesized ambience, and suddenly breaking the tension with a change in motif or a lilt of her haunting, innocent voice. Buy this CD and soak it in. Then try her subsequent releases, ¿The Mask and The Mirror¿, and ¿The Book of Secrets¿. It only gets better!
I absolutely love Loreena's musical version of Tennyson's "Lady of Shalott." The beautiful, flowing melody and her lovely voice add to the poem's character and retains the original haunting, tragic tone of the Lancelot and Elaine story. "Bonny Portmore", "The Old Ways" and "Cymbelline" round out my other favorites on this album, although each song is beautiful. This version of "Greensleeves" has a halting, jagged quality that I don't like as well as the traditional style. This is the only flaw I find on the whole disc, though. Overall, "The Visit" is a treat for the ears and a soothing remedy for the troubled soul. I recommend this CD to anyone who likes beautiful music, because that's what you'll get!
the lady of shalott is a great poem. one of the best if not the best ever. I dont know who Loreena McKennitt is but she got a great voice and she sure makes the poem more enjoyable.
I've recently become a fan of Loreena McKennitt. She sings beautifully and her music is soothing to listen to. Loreena does sound something like Enya, but there's something there that makes her sound unique. I love the song All Souls Night. I like The Lady of Shalott too, but it does tend to seem a little long, but I like how it tells a story.
I first heard Loreena's music from the ''Book of Secrets'' album and I'm an addict since. My favoriate tracks on this CD include ''Cymbeline'' an interpretation of a Shakespeare sonnet, ''The Old Ways'', and ''All Souls' night''.