Altan

Island Angel

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AllMusic Review by

The follow-up to 1992's brilliant Harvest Storm was this almost equally powerful album, similar to its predecessor in configuration and artistry, but lacking some of the moments of simple magic that animated that previous effort. The band opens with an exhilarating set of reels consisting of the ever-popular "Tommy Peoples," "The Windmill" (an original composition of Altan fiddler Ciaran Tourish), and "Fintan McManus's." This leads into the romantic lament "Brid Og Ni Mhaille," beautifully sung, as always, by fiddler Maighread Ní Mhaonaigh, then into a set of highlands and more reels. The program proceeds similarly throughout, lively instrumental sets alternating with lushly beautiful songs of heartbreak and loss. Highlights include the slightly eerie children's song "Dulaman," a sweet and gentle rendition of the classic "The Jug of Punch," and a nice arrangement of one of fiddler John Doherty's mazurkas. If you already own Harvest Storm and Red Crow, then this would be an excellent next purchase.

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