Moya Brennan,
(Sparrow, 2007)

Harry's Game was my first exposure to Clannad, but not my last. I've followed Moya Brennan's career from Clannad to her first solo CDs -- initially under the name Maire, but now Moya, which is closer to a phonetic spelling of her Irish name.

Signature is a slightly different sound for Moya. It's less layered atmospheric with a stronger pop rhythm than her earlier slower folk music works. Vocals are still her signature chant-like beauty, with an accompanying underpinning of Irish harp, bodhran, flutes and uillean pipes. What I like better is the sound is engineered so the vocals are clearer and up-front of the orchestration.

If you're expecting Jimi Hendrix' rock standard from the opening title, "Purple Haze," you'll be surprised; Moya's "Purple Haze" is a strong opener that will conjure up images of the Irish landscape. "Hear My Prayer" is a reflection of Moya's faith and a rededication:

Angels walk with me
Guard me to the water's edge
Wash away my doubts, my fear
Lord, strengthen me and bring me back to you.

Fans of her Gaelic singing will be disappointed as there's only one non-English song, "Pill a Run O," on this album. But do not despair, this one very spare song with just Moya, light strings and the Irish harp is possibly one of the most beautiful I've ever heard her sing.

Signature is a great introduction to Moya's sound if you're more a fan of pop than folk. If like me, you've loved Moya since Clannad, it's still a good addition to your music collection, particularly if you want a mix that spotlights Moya's amazing, hauntingly beautiful voice.

music review by
Becky Kyle

11 February 2017

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