I'm a huge fan of Loreena McKennitt's music. I don't remember when I first bought one of her albums (probably The Book of Secrets), but it didn't take long for me to buy the rest. Her particular variety of celtic music has a mystic other-worldly quality to it, as if someone injected a bit of Enya into a more "typical" celtic vocalist.

In fact, her Wikipedia page says:

McKennitt is often compared to Enya, but is more grounded in traditional and classical invocations using literary works as sources of lyrics and springboards for interpretation...

I found that after writing this post and looking for links to information about her.

an ancient muse Browsing Amazon a few weeks ago to finish some last minute giftmas shopping, I happened across An Ancient Muse, her newest album. After I got over the shock of discovering that she's released album without me hearing about it, I immediately clicked the Amazon Prime free two day shipping button (all hail Amazon Prime!)

I've had the album in my hot little hands a few days now and have listened to it at least ten times. I think the highest compliment I can pay is to say that it's exactly what I hoped it would be: more of the same.

It's a worthy successor to The Book of Secrets, which has a 5-star rating on Amazon and over 440 customer reviews!

So many artists with a few albums under their belt decide to do something "bold" or "new" and end up disappointing the loyal fans that made them such a success. Not McKennitt. This album is classic Loreena. No surprises.

I love it.

My favorite tracks so far are "The Gates of Istanbul" and "The English Layde And The Knight", but the whole album is awesome. It further cements her among the ranks of my top five favorite female vocalists of all time. (Maybe I'll list the other four someday...)

Posted by jzawodn at January 02, 2007 08:40 PM

Reader Comments
# Dan Isaacs said:

Regarding the chock of discovering something you should have known, I ran into this a few days ago when I noticed Richard Zacks released a new book back in like June.

on January 3, 2007 11:38 AM
# Alex said:

I've been a fan of Loreena for over 20 years. Her album "The Visit" is still one of my all time favourites. I had the pleasure of seeing her in concert when I was a teenager in Edmonton in a University theatre.

on January 3, 2007 08:36 PM
# Jeroen Sangers said:

I never heard about Loreena, until I saw her last summer in the Alhambra in Spain. She was allowed to pass the queue, and later inside we found out that she was doing a photo shoot. I became interested and wrote down the name I read on the badge of one of her assistants. After a little bit of googling around, I found her site, and happened to like her music. I now own several of her albums, which I read regularly.

on January 4, 2007 01:11 AM
# Brian Turner said:

Wow - great recommendation, Jeremy - never heard of her before, but thank goodness Amazon USA allows WMA samples to be played (here in the UK it's bloody Real Media only). Result is that I'm now ordering this as we speak. :)

Have you ever listened to any Lisa Gerrard and Dead Can Dance (her former partnership)? A little mixed, but some gems in there that you may just like (cf: Cantara). Lisa was also a co-writer on the soundtrack to "Gladiator".

on January 9, 2007 12:21 PM
# Tom said:

Have been a fan of Loreena now for ten years. There are times in my life that her albums are the only ones I'll listen to. I have found that sometimes her songs have to been consumed, like any good book. Few artist make me weep, Loreena almost always has one or two songs or her albums that will stop you in your tracks and marvel at the beauty.The gods themselves surely listen and smile. A more pure and perfect soul I never expect to encounter. Any of her albums a worth the money, if your reading this , congradulations, you stand along the true path.

on February 2, 2007 12:16 PM
# Frank Brennan said:

I too have been a long time fan of Loreena and was delighted to stumble on her new 2006 album. You can't go wrong. It's in the tradition of her other fine works.

Two suggestions on artists you might enjoy: Secret Garden, a Norse-Irish ensemble headed by Rolf Lovland (composer, who wrote You Raise Me Up) and Fionnula Sherry (virtuoso violin). BTW, You Raise Me Up is far from their best work.

Also, Moya Brennan from Clannad. True celtic singer from Donegal, Ireland. She's Enya's older sister and, frankly, I think more talented.

Add them to your Loreena collection.

Anyone have any idea when/where they'll be performing in USA in '07??

on February 9, 2007 07:07 PM
# Everquest 2 Cheats said:

nice suggestions

on February 25, 2007 05:01 PM
# Baxter said:

I love loreena mckennitt and have been a fan before i even heard her music-can you believe it? i read this little article in newsweek and the things she evokes on her recordings...there is something about the writeups that make you imagine the music before you even hear it...and yes i was able to hear all her albums. compaired to my favorite enya, she has a strong voice and i admire her self reliance.and her themes are more 'academic' which is exactly suited to my tastes. yea moya brennan i think is more talented than younger sister enya although i like the two of them.i would also asuggest connie dover. she is american but she sings in latin and gaelic-another beautiful voice worth noting.

on March 2, 2008 03:44 PM
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