Like the work of Clannad, the folk-rock group Maire Brennan has fronted since the early '70s, MISTY EYED ADVENTURES strategically melds elements of contemporary pop with traditional Celtic melodies and textures. The follow-up to her solo debut MAIRE, ADVENTURES continues in the same passionate, minor-key vein, creating sonic atmospheres that give rise to visions of enchanted forests and cold, deserted seascapes. Shimmering vocal choruses pass like ghosts through arrangements that include harp, hand drums, dobro, button accordion, and whistles, while lyrics about dancing, love, and the forces of nature wed Brennan's regional-mystical affinities perfectly to the music.
Percolating polyrhythms characterize songs like "The Watchman," while elsewhere, more traditional numbers (like the drum and vocal "Heroes," sung in Gaelic) appear amid wistful ballads and songs that demonstrate Brennan's facility with pop (a version of Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi"). On the whole, ADVENTURES is varied and progressive, yet also true to its Celtic roots, and should appeal to both traditionalists and pop fans.