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Alan Stivell — Brian Boru
(Virgin Disques Dreyfus FDM 36208-2, 1995, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1997-05-01

Brian Boru Cover art

Anyone who doesn't recognize this name is definitely sticking too hard to certain genres, as Alan Stivell is a legend — and as deserving of praise as any other individual musician I could name. His incredibly original blend of Breton Celtic traditional music and more progressive stylings was a catalyst to a whole new movement of Celtic music, and he practically singlehandedly invented progressive Celtic rock. His ouevre spans the last two and a half decades of numerous classics; in fact, I would recommend any of his 70s albums as a good place to start — notably Celtic Symphony or Journée à la Maison. And no, you don't have to mail order them, you can find his CDs at any self-respecting music store. Brian Boru is his newest album, and like many of them before he remains himself while having a lot of new ideas to express. Unlike his earlier albums, it does seem that Stivell is experimenting with more pop formats in his usual style, in fact some of the tracks here show a definite Ambient or House influence (although the results are not as mainstream as you'd think). Yet Stivell delivers with his usual panache, delivering an album of solid and entertaining Celtic music, as forward looking as the old albums and quite contemporary. I can't think of too many musicians with the class of this man, he is an astonishing and very spiritually blessed individual and I can recommend all of his music highly.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 12, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Alan Stivell

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