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Clannad - Magical Ring CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.42 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Clannad had a strange breakthrough when they were called on to provide a bespoke theme tune to Harry's Game. This was a miniseries on British television about the Troubles in Northern Ireland - a worthy and thoughtful enough bit of television, but to be honest it's the Clannad song everyone remembers about it, with its mournful passages sung over the closing titles adding a suitably sombre note to proceedings.

Indeed, the song's had something of an extensive life of its own after that - having appeared in other movies and adverts and been covered regularly enough to become something of a standard, and even spearheading the band's burst of popularity in the USA after a rerelease in 1992 ahead of the US issue of the Anam album.

But it's perhaps best appreciated here, at the start of Magical Ring, since it heralds the overall approach taken by the band following the departure of Enya and longtime producer Nicky Ryan - a delicious mixture of even more prominent New Age synthesiser work with Irish folk instrumentation and rhythms, creating an intoxicating, timeless mixture. The overall style had a brief run of popularity - Clannad were called on to do more television work for Robin of Sherwood which became the Legend album, for instance, and there'd even be a few imitators popping up here and there (such as Chameleon, TV music specialists who produced soundtrack material for the likes of The One Game and Summer's Lease), but I don't think it was ever captured better than it was here.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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