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.