Lydia McCauley,
The Beauty of the Earth
(Brimstone, 2002)

One of my first notes on this album described it as "a very religious-sounding collection." That was before I realized the label was Brimstone Music!

Still, The Beauty of the Earth by Lydia McCauley is a very spiritual album. To me it is like a musical version of a book called Anam Cara, a collection of Celtic wisdom that was a bestseller in Ireland a few years ago.

The title track sets the mood as it extols the treasures that we possess in our world as McCauley sings of love. "The River of Life" reads like a poem and a hymn: "Changed, formed and recreated on the river of life, onward I go." My favourite track on the album is "When You See." This is one of the more spiritual and uplifting pieces of music and song that I have experienced in a long time. The use of Latin adds that extra dimension on some tracks and brings an air of mysterious beauty to the songs.

McCauley has a beautiful voice that is ideally suited to the sounds on this CD and some excellent musicians complement her. The whole production, from playing and singing to the printing and layout of the insert with its "warm" illustrations, make this another of those albums that should not be missed.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 4 January 2003

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