Two Horizons

Two Horizons

5.0 4
by Moya Brennan
     
 

Clannad vocalist Maire Brennan goes for the brass ring on Two Horizons, spelling her name phonetically on the cover in a move that will make for easy pronunciation. She'll need it, too, as thousands of Enya fans who have been ignorant of the other Brennan sister's spellbinding voice will be inquiring at their localSee more details below

Overview

Clannad vocalist Maire Brennan goes for the brass ring on Two Horizons, spelling her name phonetically on the cover in a move that will make for easy pronunciation. She'll need it, too, as thousands of Enya fans who have been ignorant of the other Brennan sister's spellbinding voice will be inquiring at their local record shops. While the musics of Enya (Eithne) and Moya (Maire) have always shared a certain limpid, Celtic dreaminess, Two Horizons makes the connection explicit. Beautifully if heavily produced, the album is of a piece with the soft-focus New Age Celtic sound of A Day Without Rain. The 30 years Moya's spent with Clannad, though, are belied by the presence of folk legends such as guitarist Martin Carthy and fiddler Maire Breatnacht, and by Moya's own prowess on the harp, which is featured prominently on Two Horizons. The album has a loose narrative, following a mystic harp once plucked by the High Kings of Ireland atop the hillat Tara (site of the two horizons of the title) as it changes hands around the world. On "Sailing Away," the harp makes its way to Africa, appropriately accompanied by thundering tribal techno beats; "Mothers of the Desert" makes the most of its airy, expansive ambience, anchored to funky beats out of the Sarah Brightman book. These club-style tracks are balanced by delicate instrumentals such as "Harpsong," but by the end of the journey, Jakatta's punchy remix of "Show Me" shows fans of Clannad and Moya Brennan a new side to this versatile artist.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/03/2004
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0602498010686
catalogNumber:
000191512
Rank:
85321

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Moya Brennan   Primary Artist
Keith Duffy   Bass
Máire Breatnach   Fiddle,Violin,Viola
Bob Love   Fiddle
Martin Carthy   Guitar
Ross Cullum   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Anthony Drennan   Guitar
Ewan Cowley   Mandolin
Paul Byrne   Percussion,Drums
Brona Cahill   Violin
Sandy McLelland   Drums
Tommy Kane   Viola
Troy Donockley   Human Whistle
Nigel Eaton   Hurdy-Gurdy
Brendan Monaghan   Bodhran

Technical Credits

Ross Cullum   Programming,Producer,String Arrangements
Chris Hughes   Programming,Executive Producer
John Dunne   Programming
Jamie Cullum   Engineer
Fionán DeBarra   Engineer
Max Hole   Executive Producer
Jon Astley   Mastering

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