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Release Info: Celtic Woman - Celtic Woman
Fueled by healthy public appetite for traditional melodies and quasi-ethnic roots, the crossover genre continues to flourish with this debut release from Ireland's Celtic Woman ensemble. The brainchild of Sharon Browne, Dave Kavanaugh (founders of Ireland's successful Celtic Collections label) and young Riverdance touring company musical director David Downes, CW's five young women musicians and vocalists offer up an ever pleasant, Eire-savvy fusion of folk, pop and classical influences. Avoiding the intrusive, club-beat/sex kitten window dressing of Bond, the ensemble tackles material that ranges from the expected (spare, lovely covers of "Danny Boy" and "Ave Maria") to more adventurous fare like "Nella Fantasia" (Ennio Morricone's vocal adaptation of his rapturous theme from The Mission) and Enya's "Orinoco Flow." Elsewhere, "The Butterfly" offers up fiddle-fueled take on their Riverdance parallels (which also get a workout on the live bonus tracks).