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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

CLANNAD

By James Rodgers
Published February 17, 2006

A Magical Gathering—The Clannad Anthology
Rhino

There have been a number of hits collections from Clannad over the course of the Celtic-pop group’s three-decade career, especially after their worldwide hit “Theme from Harry’s Game,” but all have fallen short of capturing their varied career and changing styles and repertoire. This two-CD, 36-song collection starts with two songs from the very rare debut in 1973 and continues through their most recent album, Landmarks. Presented chronologically, the set exposes the band’s traditional, folk beginnings, and their slow, but ever increasing, embrace of modern music into the mix. Maire Brennan’s voice deepens, strengthens, and becomes more supple with age, and her four brothers’ instrumental accompaniment has grown more assured. The booklet is extensive, with history, photos, and lots of details. Rhino has delivered the polished packaging this fine band deserves.