Fallen Angels,
Fallen Angels
(Magnetic, 1992)

Fallen Angels live up to their name with this album of choral selections featuring heavenly a cappella voices raised in song.

The singers are Eilish Moore, Joan McDermott, Ide Tynan, Hailey Murphy and Kate Oregin. These five Irish women have a glorious rapport, singing in unison or harmony as the arrangements dictate with polish and grace.

I'll be honest, I expected to be a little bored by the end of an album featuring nothing but voices, but Fallen Angels injected enough variety -- and talent -- into the set to keep it fresh from start to finish.

The album includes some traditional Celtic selections, including the poirt a' beul song "Hi Bhi a Bhi," the Gaelic "Moll Dubh an Gleanna," "Good Ale," "James Connolly," "The Apprentice Song," "Market Day" and "John O'Dreams." The traditional song "Do You Love an Apple" is also excellent, if perhaps a bit anti-feminist in its portrayal of a woman's all-out devotion in the face of a bad marriage; it's counterbalanced by the feisty "Housewives' Lament."

There are also some unexpected tracks, such as "The Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia" and Paul Sieger's Civil Rights anthem "Back of the Bus." There is also a pair of songs from Kate and Anna McGarrigle, "The Work Song" and "I've Had Enough," and the well-known show tune "Over the Rainbow."

Fallen Angels will be a hit with anyone who likes gorgeous voices. My only question is, where is the band's second album?

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 2 November 2002