Music Review: Celtic Thunder: Act Two

I’m going to review this CD song by song, and then give a (very brief) overall conclusion.

  1. “Ride On” The story in this song is rather vague, but the music isn’t. It catches you from the beginning, harsh as folk music goes.
  2. “A Bird Without Wings” A lovely song of devotion. I would think it religious except for lines like, “Till you’re home again/and hug me so tight.” The lyrics are written very well, and sometimes even poetically.
  3. “My Boy” Here a man sings about how he and his wife don’t love each other, and their home is unhappy, and life isn’t a fairy tale, and if he stays it will be for his son … Depressing. Who needs it?
  4. “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” This one reminds me of “Ride On” (good music, unfinished story) and “Gypsy Rover” (singing gypsies in Ireland!). The lyrics are catchy, but not nearly as catchy as the music.
  5. “Love Thee Dearest” Paul, Celtic Thunder’s opera singer, does this one, and it fits. It’s a nice song.
  6. “I Want to Know What Love Is” A kind of love song, sad, searching, determined, hopeful. I’ve taken a liking to it.
  7. “Heartbreaker” One word: Skip.
  8. “Mull of Kintyre” This has the feel of an Irish folk song, though it was written in the 70s and the Mull of Kintyre is, in fact, Scottish. I think it’s the longing for home that makes it sound Irish, that and the word “mull”.
  9. “Nights in White Satin” A classic of the 60s, sung by the opera singer. It’s called “Nights in White Satin”, and his rendition is velvet – soft and rich.
  10. “Young Love” A bright, happy love song, clean of angst.
  11. “Yesterday’s Men” Another bad one, unfortunately, spoiled by the use of swearing.
  12. “That’s A Woman” This song is divided into two parts – one an idealistic view of women, the second a cynical. I’ll go beyond that: A misogynistic view of women. Overall Celtic Thunder is a good group, but this is a strike against them: Two songs that showcase a degenerate attitude toward women.
  13. “Danny Boy” An old Irish classic. The best word to describe Celtic Thunder’s rendition is “unique”. There is no music. One member sings the lyrics while the others underlay it with background vocals. There is no interlude, presumably because a capella singing is one thing and a capella interludes are another.
  14. “Caledonia” The singer has wandered, in more sense than one, but now his heart hears Caledonia’s call and he’s going home. The music is appealing, and the lyrics are poignant as they deal with the longing of home, the wandering and the return.
  15. “Heartland” The refrain is Gaelic; the verses are a prayer for safety from the storm. There is a haunting quality to this song, especially the introductory music. It also has percussion; the music – and the words being a sailor’s prayer – lend this song a masculine feel. An exceptional song, the words lucid and meaningful, the music strong without being harsh or heavy.
  16. “Castles in the Air” The end of a romance, because he’s tired of castles in the air. It’s sung to a guitar, but it would have been better if there were accompaniment. Still: An enjoyable song, half about lost love, half about the dream he wants the world to share.
  17. “Christmas 1915” One of the most compelling stories of World War I is the “soldier’s truce” built on the front lines between the opposing armies. They killed each other before Christmas and after, but that day they sang carols in no-man’s land and climbed out of their trenches. “Christmas 1915”, like the incident it’s based on, is sad and beautiful.

So, the brief conclusion: It’s worth it.