Various Artists

Putumayo Presents: Celtic Crossroads

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Putuymayo's Celtic Crossroads is a hit-or-miss affair that nevertheless manages to successfully expose potential listeners to a genre that's often more infuriating than inspiring. For Celtic purists, the pairing of fiddles and uilleann pipes with sequencers and drum machines is akin to heresy, but the contemporary Celtic world has come a long since its days of bass pedals and factory preset keyboard strings. Both harpist Emer Kenny, whose impossibly sensual voice gives her thoroughly modern rendition of the barroom classic "Parting Glass" a whole new shade of smokiness, and the wince-inducingly named Keltic Elektrik, whose upbeat, trip-hop version of "Wild Mountain Thyme" is so celebratory and infectious that it makes the original sound like a funeral dirge, help this collection to rise above the generic, adult contemporary pap of Capercaillie and Michael McGoldrick.

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