Loreena McKennitt
The Book of Secrets


4.5
superb

Review

by manosg USER (36 Reviews)
May 21st, 2014 | 39 replies | 1,219 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Emotional music from all over the world.

Some artists or albums can hit you so hard on a personal level that you can’t help but fall for them at first listen. Such is my liaison with Loreena McKennitt. Even though the level of my knowledge is nonexistent when it comes to new age/world/celtic music, McKennitt’s voice is such that blends perfectly with the instrumentation of her compositions. She sounds sincere in a manner that travels the listener right into the scene of the tale she narrates. Her music can transport you to the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East, Ireland, all over the world. Most of all though, her work is introspective; by listening to her albums, one can view life from a different perspective.

The Book of Secrets is McKennitt’s sixth release and her most successful album in terms of sales, having reached double platinum status in the US. The nature of music on this release is mostly soothing with only a few faster and lively moments. Nevertheless, the majority of the album consists of mid tempo songs centered around McKennitt’s expressive voice. However, that doesn’t mean that the instrumentation is second rate or cannot stand by itself without the vocals. With string instruments ranging from acoustic guitars to violin, hurdy gurdy and cello to table, drone and bodhran used for percussion, the arrangements are lush and immaculate.

Another important aspect of the album is the lyrics. Often, Loreena McKennitt does extensive research on the subjects that her albums deal with to the point where she visits places that her music draws influences from. Therefore, those of you who like to read lyrics will definitely feel more engaged while listening to The Book of Secrets. Moreover, a flaw that one might find at albums consisting of mid tempo songs is that they tend to sound a bit samey and linear. For most part, that’s not the case with this album as it contains a variety of melodies coming from different cultures. Therefore, even though the tempo is almost constant throughout The Book of Secrets, one can hear influences from the Middle East or the Mediterranean accompanied by the relevant instruments; an element that helps diversify the songs.

Overall, regardless of one’s taste, this is an album that people who seek for emotional music should give a chance. It’s a pity that Loreena McKennitt seems to be enjoyed mostly by older audiences because her work can appeal equally to younger folks so give this album a spin and you won’t regret it.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pour a glass of red wine and enjoy!

Full album: http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/The+Book+Of+Secrets/1201077

Digging: Saviour Machine - Saviour Machine I

Mythodea
May 21st 2014


882 Comments


I really enjoy Loreena's music. A truly inspiring artist! Nice review too.

Digging: Hominido - Estirpe Litica

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks guys! Her discog is very solid.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2014


6083 Comments


This album didn't had a review? How peculiar...

Good review Manos, pos.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Cygnatti
May 21st 2014


21352 Comments


Love her so much.

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

TWIGtheWONDERKID
May 21st 2014


783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another good review—As far as I'm concerned, McKennitt is the best Celtic artist (sorry Enya). Her vocals are beautiful, but (like you said) the “instrumentation” is so good too. Other Celtic artists seem to think a band just supports the vocals, but McKennit’s music is so good it could stand on its own.

Digging: The Evpatoria Report - Maar

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Voivod
Cheers man, I was surprised too!

@Cyg
Agreed.

@Twig
Yeah the instrumentation is top notch. I watched a live performance of hers (Nights From the Alhambra) the other day and I felt that their "supporting band" did a brilliant job there too.

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haven't heard anything by them man. Which one do you suggest?

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

OK, just added it to my list and I'll give it a spin soon enough.

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Let me give it a spin first and if it does enough for me then why not, I'll add it to my list of albums to review.

CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2014


29097 Comments


im really into secrets so I might have to check this

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

CaptainDooRight
May 21st 2014


29097 Comments


heard a few tracks, def made me high

pos'd btw

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2014


2674 Comments


I mix the Celtic and Irish Pub Rock stations on Pandora at work (because they block Spotify and
Youtube like a-holes) and every time "The Mummers' Dance" gets looped in I crank that sumbitch!

laughingman22
May 21st 2014


1657 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you for doing this review. such a great album

Digging: Leonard Cohen - Popular Problems

sharkmsc
May 21st 2014


65 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good stuff, I should have beaten you the punch. This is like part megahit part unheard-of, I feel

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

@Captain
Thanks dude, glad you enjoy it!

@Jom
Glad to read that man. The chorus of that song is so uplifting.

@laughingman
You're very welcome! Great dig by the way.

@sharkmsc
Indeed. The Mask and Mirror is pretty great too and it's without a review.

ksoflas
May 21st 2014


389 Comments


Auto pos. Album rules hard such as the review.

manosg
May 21st 2014


6070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks dude. Glad to see people digging Loreena McKennitt.

scissorlocked
May 21st 2014


3509 Comments


nice work bro!

ade na mathenun kai tipota oi sputnikaraioi!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 21st 2014


19738 Comments


another nice review man, flows rather nicely. Also, I really dig Celtic influences so I'd be surprised if I didn't like this

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I



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