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Clannad - Sirius CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

2.65 | 13 ratings

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3 stars Regarded by many as a major misstep, "Sirius" is notable for being the only CLANNAD album that actually rocks with any consistency. It was recorded in LA and includes guest spots by some of its era's biggest names - STEVE PERRY, BRUCE HORNSBY, and RUSS KUNKEL among them. The attempt to Americanize the band's style was ill advised, and the album saw dwindling sales everywhere. Yet somehow the band's overall popularity remained intact, with the subsequent compilation "Past Present" rocketing to number 5 in the UK charts in spite of the predominance of selections from "Sirius".

My own perspective is that this is half of a great album. the first 4 tracks are all well composed and arranged, and among the most prog oriented efforts of their career. "In Search of a Heart" overcomes its programmed percussion through Maire's supreme adaptation to the rock idiom. "Second Nature" is even better, with a more adventurous arrangement on accordion and fiddle, both traditional instruments not normally part of the Clannad arsenal, but again in an affirming rock context. The next two songs, "Turning Tide" and "Skellig", represent the peak of "Sirius", a creative and haunting blend of their old and new styles. Both are nautically themed, one symbolically, the other historically, emanating from Eire's jagged shores so distant from the studio. If the whole album had been in this vein it might have not been a one-off. Unfortunately, most of the rest is just bland AOR. except for the spiritual yearning of "Something to Believe in", which is sublime AOR. Songs like "Stepping Stone", "Live and Learn", "Many Roads", and the title cut are lacking in subtlety and creativity, and weak melodically, while "White Fool" is lyrically and musically transparent to a flaw.

Certainly the weakest album of Clannad's rock period, "Sirius" remains of interest simply because it is their only effort of this kind; however, half of it is like so many other offerings of this musically barren era that you would do almost as well to seek out the others and leave this one to the fans. The other half is brilliant, so recommended to those who might be fantasizing about Clannad as a rock group. Seriously.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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