Anuna have come a long way since their debut in Bill Whelan's Celtic dance extravaganza Riverdance. Composer Michael McGlynn and his choral ensemble have since collaborated with artists such as Sinéad O'Connor, the Chieftains, Sting, Máire Brennan, and Elvis Costello, as well as release their own music, the best of which can be found here on Essential Anuna. Anuna's ethereal blend of Middle English, Scots Gaelic, Irish, Breton, Medieval Irish, Latin, and Greek choral music is infused with modern sensibilities. McGlynn's compositions have an almost jazz-like dimension to them, an effect that often leads the group into mid-'60s Sergio Mendes/Ray Conniff Singers territory, while retaining a respectable level of sublime seriousness. Essential Anuna is just that, a 19-track career overview of the eclectic group that provides a balanced selection of traditional ("Siúil, A Rúin") and contemporary ("Blue Bird") songs, and even a cover (Elvis Costello's "Deep Dead Blue"). The CD serves as an excellent introduction to this talented -- and constantly rotating -- group of young Irish singers.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger