Anne Buckley,
The Celtic Goddess
(Nova, 2003)

Anne Buckley is the owner of the crystal-clear, soaring vocal cords that added charm and the grace of song to the Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames shows. In this, her debut album, she presents a magical blend of traditional Irish songs, like "An Mhaighdean Mhara" and "Danny Boy," classical music such as Bizet's "Seguidilla" and Verdi's "Ave Maria," and popular songs such as "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Rogers & Hammerstein's musical Carousel and "Send In the Clowns" by Steven Sondheim.

I am not, in general, fond of a soprano voice, but Buckley has won me over! She has a delightfully clear voice, which is shown off to every advantage with this eclectic collection of tunes. My only criticism is her rendition of "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls," in which she sounds rather breathless. It is not an easy song to sing, but the combination of a rather pedantic musical accompaniment and a less than assured performance was a disappointment.

The other 11 tracks are, however, superb, both musically and vocally. Her interpretation of "Hijo de la Luna" is particularly captivating, as is her vocal accompaniment to "Aranjuez." "The Celtic Goddess" proves herself a mistress of spell-craft and, like a mythical siren, this album draws one in, deeper and deeper. At first I merely enjoyed it, liked it, but the more I played it, the more I wanted to play it. Its appeal spans the generations too -- both my parents loved her voice and song choice -- so this would make a classy and ideal present for anyone of any age.

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 25 April 2004

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