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Album Review

1985's Macalla is one of Clannad's strongest albums. The songs are mainly mid-tempo or slower, and combine the poignant beauty of Irish balladry with the immediacy of a rock band line-up. Traditional Irish instruments come and go, along with touches of sax and on "In a Lifetime," soulful guest vocals by fellow Irishman Bono, of U2. Macalla is a well-rounded album of melodic folk pop, infused with that beautiful warm sadness that seems to pervade Irish music and culture. ~ Backroads Music/Heartbeats, Rovi

Customer Reviews

An Album that reaches for more -

I'm a fan of their eariler, more traditional albums, but this one reaches for new influences and sounds and in many ways achieves them. The first track Caislean Oir presents close, low harmony in what sounds like a coal mine. Dark and ethereal at the same time, it sounds like a fusion of Celtic and Prog sensibilities, and signals a way to take Celtic music in a new strong direction, one their took very successfully. "In a Lifetime" gets a little more gravitas than it perhaps deserves, due to a strong vocal by Bono. The rest of the album consists of over-produced and rather saccarine pop, with some more moments like the above, and unfortunately becomes the model for their later, unlistenable albums. I'd go back to the beauty of "Magical Ring" or the homey Celtic of the earlier albums, especially "Fuaim" with sister Enya.


Formed: 1970 in Donegal, Ireland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Clannad bridged the gap between traditional Celtic music and pop. Usually, their results were an entrancing, enchanting form of pop that managed to fuse the disparate elements together rather seamlessly. Such fusions have earned the band an international cult of fans. Taking their name from the Gaelic word for "family," Clannad formed in 1970 when the Brennan family -- Maire (vocals, harp), Ciaran (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards), Pol (guitar, percussion, flute, vocals) -- began playing at their...
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