Clannad

Lore

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On its first album in three years, Clannad turns in another set that combines the group's Irish traditional background with elements of Western pop and world music. Five of the eleven songs contain at least some English lyrics, but the most contemporary sounding track is "Seanchas," which, though its lyrics are in Gaelic, could pass for a Peter Gabriel track. Clannad's sound features many high-pitched sounds, from saxophone to tin whistle and Uilleann pipes, with lots of synthesized equivalents, all supporting the lush choral parts that surround singer Máire Brennan. Brennan's breathy soprano is a cross between Judy Collins and Agnetha Faltskog of ABBA, and she suggests the latter especially when she is singing in English in a plaintive, but slightly distanced way, phrasing oddly as if she had learned the words phonetically. Lore doesn't contain any individual tracks as memorable as "Harry's Game" or "In a Lifetime" (which is what the group would need to consolidate its success in the U.S.), but it is more of the same from musicians who have established an identifiable sound as their own.

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