Moya Brennan,
Two Horizons
(Universal, 2003)

Despite having changed the spelling of her name (to a more phonetic rendering of her Irish name), Moya Brennan sounds pretty similar to Maire Brennan. If you've ever heard her earlier recordings or any Clannad or even Enya, you've heard most of this before. The album concept is quite unique and there are definite high points, but overall, it is still the echo-y, mystical music we are used to.

The concept is that each piece is part of the journey of a harp through the years and through different lands as retold by present-day Brennan. The harp starts in Ireland, travels about there, winds up in Tara, as all good harps do, and eventually makes its way to America via Africa.

The pieces are beautifully written and the harp well-played, but the echo effect is severely over-used. And there is one song played twice and another three times. Each is slightly different, but it feels like they are padding the album or think we might be a bit thick and won't notice. Does calling it a "theme" really warrant a whole extra track?

Having vented my frustrations with the CD, there are things I liked. There are two fantastic tracks, with strong vocals and wonderful lyrics. "Falling" and "Tara" are the two most memorable songs, giving a glimpse at what this CD could have been if it had been given a more solid sound. The enhanced portion of the CD contains the video for "Tara," as well as photos and information about Brennan and the recording, which is a bonus because there is no mention of this feature in the liner notes. The liner notes themselves are very nice. The photography is appropriately misty, but Brennan is wearing beautiful dresses hand-painted in Celtic designs. There is also a sentence or two for each song to help explain the flow of the story.

If you are a big Moya Brennan fan, then you will probably love this album. If you think she is all right and you already have one of her recordings, you can give it a skip as it's really not anything that different.

- Rambles
written by Jean Emma Price
published 28 February 2004

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