The Book of Secrets

The Book of Secrets

by Loreena McKennittLoreena McKennitt


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Critics love to bash Loreena. The Celtic mystery priestess throws theology, romantic poetry, and pagan symbology around like rice at a wedding. She arrays her whispery voice in a synth-drenched coat of groovy ethnic sounds and ignores the boundaries separating "traditional," "pop," and "classical." McKennitt's 11-minute take on Alfred Noyes's poem "The Highwayman" may verge on the cliché, but clichés become clichés precisely because they work. And McKennitt's considerable musical skill and strong grasp of traditional song forms works, too. She's an excellent harpist/accordionist with a great ear for sonic links between various traditions -- the mournful cadences of "Skellig" certainly sound traditional, but which tradition? Irish? French? Eastern European? For The Book of Secrets, McKennitt threw a pungent handful of Indo-Arabian sounds into her new age teapot; on "Marco Polo," the flavor is alluring, sort of like a laid-back younger sister to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Like a Hollywood adventure movie or a fantasy novel, The Book of Secrets requires a suspension of disbelief, yet it delivers myriad pleasures to those who can take it on its own terms.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/14/2006
Label: Verve
UPC: 0774213991072
catalogNumber: 000795302
Rank: 40784

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Loreena McKennitt   Primary Artist,Piano,Accordion,Harp,Keyboards,Vocals,Kanoon
Brian Hughes   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Electric Guitar,Synthesizer Guitar,Oud,Classical Guitar,Drones
Hugh Marsh   Violin
Donald Quan   Keyboards,Tabla,Viola,Timba,Drones
Anne Bourne   Cello
Nigel Eaton   Hurdy-Gurdy
Steafan Hannigan   Bodhran
Nick Hayley   Rebec,Lira (Lyra)
Hossam Ramzy   Percussion
Martin Jenkins   Mandocello
Manu Katché   Drums
Caroline LaVelle   Cello
Rick Lazar   Percussion
Steve Pigott   Keyboards
Johnathan Rees   Violin
David Rhodes   Electric Guitar
Stuart Bruce   Drones
Paul Clarvis   Drums
Chris Van Kampen   Cello
Aidan Brennan   Acoustic Guitar,Mandola
Joanna Levine   Viola,Viola Da Gamba
Iain King   Violin

Technical Credits

Brian Hughes   Vocal Drone
Doug Riley   String Arrangements
Donald Quan   Vocal Drone
Caroline Dale   String Arrangements
Brian Gascoigne   String Arrangements
Nick Hayley   Contributor
Kevin Killen   Engineer
Loreena McKennitt   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Stuart Bruce   Engineer,Vocal Drone
Alfred Noyes   Composer
Claude Fortin   translation

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