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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Various Artists

By James Rodgers
Published April 16, 2008

Celtic Woman 3: The Irish
Hearts O' Space

It’s been 13 years since the first Celtic Woman collection was introduced. For the latest release, the focus is on the female vocalists of Ireland. Most of the obvious choices are represented, from Mary Black, Cherish the Ladies, Eleanor McEvoy, Anuna, Maura O’Connell, Dolores Keane, and Clannad to a few lesser known artists like Skilda, Sheoda and Kate Power. While it’s hard to knock the lineup, the newest song here is already two years old, with two of the tracks reaching back over 25 years, including Clannad’s “Theme From Harry’s Game,” which seems to be on almost every Irish collection ever released. There are so many other great songs in the Clannad repertoire that the choice smacks a bit of laziness, but having said that, the 12 tracks do work well together, with McEvoy, Keane, and Power shining brightest among the stars. Any series that brings all these great voices together is worth celebrating and well worth continuing.