Nadur

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

Clan­nad Arc Mu­sic/Se­lect ★★★✩✩

FIF­TEEN years have elapsed since Clan­nad re­leased new ma­te­rial, yet, lis­ten­ing to the be­lated fol­low-up al­bum to 1998’s Grammy-grab­bing Land­marks, it seems time has stood still for the folk­lore-driven fam­ily band from Done­gal. Nadur of­fers the mix­ture as be­fore, a se­lec­tion of ethe­real num­bers in Gaelic and English fea­tur­ing the an­gelic lead vo­cals of the group’s ma­tri­arch Moya Bren­nan with ex­em­plary vo­cal har­mony back-up from her broth­ers and un­cles, and to­ken Celtic harp, whis­tles, pipes and flutes over misty syn­the­siser washes and stan­dard back­line in­stru­men­ta­tion. Theirs is a smooth and sooth­ing, ten­sion-free sound that dur­ing a four-decade ca­reer has col­lected more awards than you could poke a shil­le­lagh at, shifted 15 mil­lion al­bums and been fea­tured in a hand­ful of movies. There’s sound­track po­ten­tial here, with Hymn (To Her Love) ex­hibit­ing shades of Theme From Harry’s Game, the band’s chart-top­ping late 1980s sin­gle.

Turas Dhomhsa chon na Gall­dachd and To­bar an tSaoil, catchier than their tongue-twist­ing Gaelic ti­tles sug­gest, are also cin­e­matic can­di­dates, along with the al­bum’s in­stru­men­tal, the tra­di­tional sound­ing air Lamh ar Lamh. A sin­ga­long cho­rus dis­tin­guishes Brave Enough from other tracks, while The Fish­ing Blues stands out by dint of its (al­beit mild) protest stance. Else­where, Bren­nan’s voice is ir­re­sistibly warm in Rhap­sody na gCrann, suit­ably soft in A Song in Your Heart and pos­i­tively in­can­des­cent in Citi na gCu­mann.

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