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Clannad - Clannad 2 CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.92 | 9 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Even though it would be a couple more albums before CLANNAD officially went pro, Clannad 2 can be seen as the point at which their trademark meticulousness took hold. The production is crystalline and the digital remastering beyond reproach, but it's their discipline and restraint that propels this set of largely traditional fare quite out of the league of most would be rivals of their day. The moods vary from spirited to downcast, but the playing is divine, in particular the flutes and double bass of the Brennan brothers and the harp of their sister, not to mention the haunting vocals and harmonies.

From a progressive aspect we hear less of the jazz influences of the debut, but "By Chance it was", the only track sung in English, is eerie and foreboding, with subtle keyboards courtesy of Tríona Ni Dhomhnaill, whose brother also contributes. "Dheanainn Súgradh" is even more striking, with drums by the great Donal Lunny and an intricate lead guitar and flute duet in the break, offering hints of future directions. " Coinleach Ghlas an Fhómair" is a profoundly melancholic song that sounds like it could have inspired CAT STEVENS' "How can I tell you" , pouring forth run on grief-ridden phrases that apparently touch everyone but the oblivious lover. CLANNAD answers the stereotypical Irish folk group's alternating current of break neck fiddle driven instrumentals and melodramatic yet soporific ballads with lively songs like "An Gabhar Bán" and "Teidhir Abhaile Riú", exquisitely refined airs like "Eleanor Plunkett", and smoldering tunes like "Fairly Shot of Her".

If the debut was a bit scattered in a wondrous sense, Clannad 2 offers a firm yet gentle guidepost for the contemporary Celtic music movement. Its subtle joys and enduring statements, easily eclipsing the pinnacle for lesser acts, are but an elegant step onward and upwards for Clannad.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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