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A Mediterranean Odyssey

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Album Review

Loreena McKennitt's A Mediterranean Odyssey collection includes an 11-track anthology of her more Mediterranean-influenced works entitled Olive and the Cedar, as well as a ten-track live performance recorded in 2009 called From Istanbul to Athens. McKennitt's transition from Celtic balladeer to worldbeat superstar began in the early '90s with the genre-hopping Visit. Her penchant for Mediterranean/Far East/Middle Eastern instrumentation came to fruition on 1994's Mask and Mirror and 1997's Book of Secrets, the latter of which spawned her biggest commercial hit with "The Mummer's Dance." The bulk of Olive and the Cedar is made up of material from those three albums. From Istanbul to Athens mines much of the same material, but draws more heavily from 2006's Ancient Muse.

Customer Reviews

A Mediterranean Odyssey

Loreena McKennitt is one of the worlds best singers. Her range of vocal talent is very rare. This album is a repeat of some of her great songs. There is not a new piece on this CD. I am very diappointed that a talent such as hers should feel that repeat cd's are acceptable. Only 3rd rate performers wishing to grab more of the publics money lower themselves to this type of deception. Next time Loreena at least have the courtesy to make it clear that a complete CD consists of repeats.Buyers be warned you probably already have these tracks.

Very nice collection

This is a great collection of some of McKennitt's most popular songs done live and in studio, plus it includes a beautiful digital booklet.
The previous two reviews are rather harsh as any 5th grader could read a song list and tell what's on a CD, so it's entirely unfair to blame the artist if you're too lazy to read before you buy. It's also very easy to see that the live versions are longer. Each of these songs have been performed differently than the traditional studio recordings, some only slightly and others noticeably.
Any true fan looking for a nice collection of McKennitt's work will enjoy this album.

no new material

You are right, it is a shame that she has an other album with the same songs, won't touch it!


Born: 1957 in Morden, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Loreena McKennitt's literate and sometimes experimental focus on Celtic-tinged traditional and original material, coupled with her haunting harp playing, has made her Canada's national chanteuse and new age troubadour since she broke through to prominence in the mid-'80s. The daughter of a nurse mother and a livestock-trading father, McKennitt studied classical piano and voice and learned to dance in the highland style as a youngster. Her love of traditional music was strengthened in the folk clubs...
Full bio