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To a Celtic purist, Scottish/Celtic music isn't something you combine with rock and pop; you treat it like a museum piece and don't do anything to alter it. Thankfully, Capercaillie doesn't see things that way. Bringing a healthy appreciation of rock and pop to the table, Capercaillie favored an expansive approach to Scottish/Celtic music in the '90s, and the Scottish band doesn't lose any of its freshness on 2000's NĂ durra. Like their previous releases, this CD ranges from instrumental jigs to contemplative vocal numbers that feature Karen Matheson, a jewel of a storyteller who is as expressive in English as she is in Gaelic. Most of the people who acquire NĂ durra won't understand the Gaelic lyrics of "Tighinn Air A'mhuir Am Fear A Phosas Mi," but one doesn't have to understand the words to feel the warmth and emotion Matheson brings to them. And on the instrumental tracks that don't feature her, Capercaillie reminds us that they never has a problem finding their way around a traditional jig. Anyone who savored the Scots' '90s recordings will also find a great deal to admire about this solid 2000 release.

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