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Various Artists - Putumayo Presents: Women of the World - Celtic

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This assortment of Irish and Scottish female artists mostly spotlights denizens of the Celtic twilight movement, which means airy, otherwordly Enya-esque sopranos who sing in either Irish Gaelic or English. The arrangements are similarly spaced-out, tending toward unsteady, woebegone tin flute riffs and nylon-stringed neo-Irish harps layered over pellucid but flagrantly unnatural currents of synthesizers at flood tide. The talent is first-rate, however, ranging from thoughtful singer/songwriters, to die-hard traditionalists, to crinkle-haired new age divas complete with hooded cloaks and elaborately manufactured mysteries. A Celtic music newbie would no doubt be enchanted by all this, but would glean relatively little about the incomparably rich cultural history behind these styles, despite admirably informative liner notes by Fiona Ritchie and Caitlin Ni Bheagain. Another sticking point is that compilations of music by women have become a tiresome concept, flagrant attempts to milk a marketing concept for all it's worth, whether or not they make any sense or even belittle the artists they are meant to promote. This set was one of the first such and the producers meant no harm, but these talented women can stand on their own very well, thank you! They had all, even back then, long since moved past the stage of needing to be pigeonholed strictly by nationality, gender, or any other convenient cliché in order to get over. ~ Christina Roden

1) Against the Wind - Moya Brennan (05:29)
2) Amhrán Pheadar Breathnach - Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill / Maighread Ní Dhomnaill (04:12)
3) Treasure Island - Mary Black (03:12)
4) Dark Alan - Karen Matheson (03:34)
5) Waiting for the Wheel to Turn - Karen Matheson (06:39)
6) The Breatnaigh Abú! - Máire Breatnach (02:53)
7) The Mighty One - Moya Brennan (04:35)
8) Stories - Maura O'Connell (03:51)
9) Cry Over You - Fiona Joyce (04:43)
10) On We Go - Nancy McCallion (03:15)
11) Dúlamán - Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (03:42)
12) Song for Ireland - Mary Black (04:55)

Putumayo Presents: Women of the World - Celtic
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Putumayo Presents: Women of the World - Celtic | Various Artists