by Emma Barlow |
Méav adds delicious wriggles to her renditions of traditional tunes.
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha is an Irish singer who is best known for being one of the original soloists of the musical ensemble Celtic Woman, the group successfully sold over six million albums.
The Calling is a twelve track collection, a delightful concoction of stunning folk ballad interpretations of timeless classics. The album showcases Méav’s crystal clear voice which fuses both her Classical and Folk roots.
The LA Times commented about her new album by saying ‘Her presentation was coolly elegant, and her voice remarkably pure. She sang with a subtle, underlying passion.’ The New York Times also enjoyed her new album The Calling, they said that she ‘Adds delicious wriggles to her renditions of traditional tunes.’
Méav’s album The Calling takes you on a spiritual journey, a soothing aura radiates throughout the album, enlightening my mood on this cloudy Wednesday afternoon. Unlike the full-blown harmonies of Celtic Woman, Méav reveals her softer side in a more intimate record with lots of intricate details and rich arrangements.
The album opener is a flawless rendition of The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face which was originally sung by Roberta Flack. Méav added great sentiment to this already beautiful track; the high notes prickle the skin, especially when she reaches an ear-piercing note around 2.25 in the song. The next track is a beautiful song, titled The Calling which is based on a traditional Galician melody.
The third track on the album is a light-hearted execution of Pentangle’s Light Flight. With dreamy harmonies and perfect vocals, this is one of the highlights of the album. Meav then takes on Sandy Denny’s Listen, Listen, which could actually be better than the original. Meav’s light, angelic vocals differentiate from the harsher raspier tones of Denny, an excellent rendition.
The Songline To Home is based on the original melody of Eleanor Plunkett by Turlough O'Carolan. The song begins with a sombre feel which contrasts with the previous tracks. I have never heard the original melody that this song is based on but I really enjoyed the poignant opening lyrics ‘When you open your eyes/ To another grey sky/ Do your dreams slip away?/ Do you long for the night/ When you turn from the light/ And escape from the day?’
The next rendition on the album is a charming cover of the well-known 19th century American spiritual/folk song Poor Wayfaring Stranger. There have been so many different renderings of the song but I found Meav’s to be chilling and pure.
Meav doesn’t disappoint with her next track, a quirky classical rendition of the English Folk song Sovay, neither does she disappoint with the gentles execution of the famous traditional folk song Shenandoah. Once You Were My Lover is the next track which is formerly based on a traditional Breton folk song originally titled Tri Martolod.
Meav takes inspiration from WB Yeat’s famous poem The Song of Wandering Aengus to create an enchanting and uplifting song. Glasgow’s Burning is the next cover on the album, initially based on the traditional Scots folk song Alasdair Mhic Cholla Ghasda. This is probably my least favourite on the album due to the different languages sung throughout the song but it still showcased Meav’s excellent vocals.
Black Is The Colour is the album closer and my favourite of all the renditions, sweet and soothing it is pleasing for the ears with a Jazz-like composition, Meav’s vocals are particularly entrancing on this track.
Meav hits the nail on the head with all of these renditions; she marks the songs with her individual soprano vocal and elegant charm and creates the impression that she has written these songs herself.
The Calling is perhaps the strongest solo effort of Méav. The generous amounts of spirituality and atmospheric beauty of this album promise to captivate audiences worldwide.
Her fourth album The Calling is set to release on the 26th of August.