STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13647-10332 LABEL: Fierce! FIERCD19 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2005-11-19 RRP: £1.00
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
As every Celtic music buff will know, Moya is "the voice of Clannad." The Irish songstress has over the last few years carved out an international following amongst Christian music lovers and though this new set isn't up to the standards of her stunning 'Perfect Time' and 'Whisper To The Wild Water', it's still far superior to many of those Nashville yuletide offerings which clog up the seasonal release schedules. Having said that, there are some predictable carols but in Moya's hands "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", "Joy To The World" and "In The Bleak Midwinter" have the same layered production and delicately ethereal vocals which have made Moya an international star. According to Moya, she wanted to "capture a truly Celtic Christmas feeling" and I'd say she succeeded very well.
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An Irish Christmas charts a different course, reviewing the Christmas story through a blend of new tracks and left-field favourites. From God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen to In The Bleak Midwinter, Moya reworks the classics with an intimacy that restores the personal and the passionate to what have become mumbled, half-remembered musical yarns. The listener is placed in the front row of the ultimate nativity opera.
According to Moya, the idea for the album first came to her some time ago. "I've been involved in number of other people's Christmas projects in recent years," explains Moya, "but I wanted to capture a truly Celtic Christmas feeling. It's always important to bring the meaning of Christmas to the fore. It is the essence of what I believe in and the album offers both celebration and reflection on that familiar theme."