New Age and World Music album by Loreena McKennitt
Mixing a variety of styles with a Celtic base, this was McKennitt's breakthrough album and remains one of her most musically interesting. "All Souls Night" begins the album, with dance-like rhythms and McKennitt's wonderful voice singing about … see full wiki
Consider The Visit the bridge from the classical Celtic music of McKennitt's earliest work to the pop-influenced world/Celtic works of The Mask & the Mirror and The Book of Secrets. McKennitt doesn't meet any problems merging the two styles because she's such a brilliant composer. Listen to this, and you're c-c-crazy if you argue. Still, some awkward moments bring the album's quality down a notch or two. "Greensleeves" has McKennitt singing at low ranges and it sounds a bit uncomfortable. "Bonny Portmore" is a bit too languid (great live version on Live in Paris and Toronto, though). Aside from those gripes, everything here is good. The lively, danceable beats of "All Souls Night" launch the album with spirit and ebullience. "The Old Ways" is staggeringly beautiful, a melancholic longing pervading McKennitt's vocal delivery throughout. "Between the Shadows" is a feisty instrumental with ear-catching fiddle lines and instrumental interplay. The centrepiece of The Visit is probably "The Lady of Shalott," an 11-minute work that tells delivers a good poem with a lovely musical accompaniment. Although it lacks the rising action of, say, "The Highwayman," (I hate to compare but I can't help it), the song isn't drawn out because of how the music undulates through different themes and the vocal melodies change. Although Celtic purists may scoff at how the brilliant Loreena McKennitt is moving away from her roots, the album shows that she is venturing down equally compelling musical avenues.