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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish


By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published September 9, 2005

Parting Glass

Emer Kenny's acclaimed debut in 1997 was an interesting mixture of traditional and modern sounds while the Irish songstress's follow-up veered more towards pop. Parting Glass sees her return to tradition although there's still plenty of room for modern arrangements. Junior Vasquez, who had remixed her successful cover of the Stranglers' "Golden Brown" on the first album, offers his services again on "Cast A Spell," one of several Kenny originals. A more conventional approach is applied to "She Moved Through The Fair," "Sally Garden," "Scarborough Fair" and the title track. Kenny also gives a nod to the music of Brittany, which is subtly explored in "Breton Dance" and "An Hini a Garan." "Moll Dubh" is a mysterious song with shades of Moorish influences and, along with the old Irish ballad "Rambling Boys Of Pleasure," is presented in a light jazz setting. Kenny has a breathy and wistful vocal style that is really quite beautiful and distinctive. Fans of modern Irish music with strong roots are likely to consider Parting Glass a worthy acquisition, maybe even an essential one.