Clannad – The Essential (review)

Clannad – The Essential (RCA / Legacy Recordings) review by J Hamrick

A 14-year recording hiatus has left at least one generation unfamiliar with Grammy award-winning Clannad’s work.  With the March release of The Essential, the internationally recognized group is reintroducing itself.

A first time listener may not know what to expect when they pop in the two-disc set, which encompasses 30 years of music.
After 60 seconds, even a novice will hear something faintly familiar in “I Will Find You.” Whether the lyrics are in English or Gaelic — like in “Ri Na Cruinne” — the New Age/folk songs are melancholy, layered and smooth. Not surprising is the connection to Enya — the fifth of nine siblings to contribute to the Irish family’s success when she started playing keyboard and singing background vocals in 1979.

With the CD on the shelves, the Celtic family is touring North America for the first time in 20 years – an opportunity for new fans and old to hear the group live. Although details are still in the works, what Clannad’s website describes “an extensive tour” will begin in September.