For reasons to be outlined shortly, I have 5 Loreena McKennitt CDs in my collection, and a couple of times a year I find myself falling in love with them all over again and feeling compelled to share this love with the world, because just listening to these works of art isn't enough. I enjoy pretty much every single song on every single CD, a feat few if any other artists have managed. So for the next [undefined period of time] I'll be going in chronological order and reviewing 1 CD track-by-track every few days. Hopefully it's at least kind of interesting? If nothing else, it might help me better recognize her instrumental tracks by title.
This series will assume you are familiar with the CDs and/or proficient in YouTube searches because I sure do not have the time to link you myself.
My CDs come courtesy of permanent loan from my dad, who has been a huge fan of hers as long as she's been around, e.g. my whole life. I grew up hearing her music (I especially remember The Bonny Swans because I used to think the chorus lyrics were "nee hee ho and me funny bone"), but it wasn't until I was 17 that I really discovered her for myself. Reason?
In AP Lit, we had to explicate a 19th century British poem from a given list, and I knew from organizing the CD racks at home that she covered one on the list that sounded cool: The Lady of Shalott. I figured listening to music would make the task infinitely less painful, but I had no idea how right I would become. From that assignment, I went on to listen to the whole CD, and then her other CDs, and snowballed from there into my dad's entire Celtic music collection and a lifelong affinity for the genre.
But nothing quite equals the enchanting magic of those first five non-Christmas albums. I even tried to fall in love with her newer stuff and failed*, because those five are such a complete set to me that nothing new really seems to stick. (This happens a lot with my favorite artists. It's like the compartment in my brain reserved for them just blows a fuse and won't collect anymore.)
*Exception: I have grown quite fond of "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" between the time I wrote that sentence and now, so I may add it as a bonus feature at the end, but I still think of it as more of a new baby that hasn't yet earned its place with the greats.
I look forward to sharing my experience with them.