This one has perhaps the wildest and most untamed sound of all her CDs. Until "Dickens' Dublin," everything seems to take place centuries ago, and then suddenly, that song acts like a launchpad to catapult us into the present day...and then it comes full cycle to a quiet close. Additionally, the first time I really listened to this CD was on the hour-long ride back to college freshman year after Long Weekend in October, and so my personal connection to the CD includes a strong sense of peaceful darkness (tinged with sad), a relatively quiet freeway on Sunday night, and the moon overhead.
* denotes a CD highlight
Samain Night: Ooh, haven't heard this in a long time and kind of forgot about it because I'm always impatient to get to track 3. But that is a mistake, because after the slow start there is some really cool pagan-themed romance imagery. "And if I heard the owl's cry / into the forest I would fly / and in its darkness find you by."
Moon Cradle: Remember what I said about the moon overhead? Moon cradle is rocking, and rocking (you to peaceful rest).
* Huron 'Beltane' Fire Dance: the only flaw in this is that for the first 30 seconds or so, it's so low and quiet you can't hear anything without turning the volume up dangerously high. The volume increase with the vocals is gradual, but it's still frustrating to have to keep an eye on it. Still, when the musical hook kicks in, it's an awesome instrumental with a catchy melody and strong drumbeat. Also the only song of hers, as far as I know, to draw influence from this side of the Atlantic.
Annachie Gordon: I have to be in just the right mood to listen to this, because it's long and continuously high pitched, but when I am it gets me RIGHT in the heart muscle. Basically every line = gutting tragedy.
* Standing Stones: there is SO MUCH amazing music in this. This is the one that stands out strongest when I think of that car ride, in part because my college included a little forest path out to a peninsula where I imagine the title events could have taken place.
Dickens' Dublin: the child's voiceover is decidedly obnoxious at least 8/10 times. But the verses are beautiful. On rare occasions I even like the voiceover -- it's certainly a unique sound.
Breaking the Silence: Eerie and powerful. I haven't looked at the booklets in a long time, but apparently this is a tribute to Amnesty International. Sounds about right.
Ancient Pines: Instrumental + her vocals where the title always makes me think of the pines as either gods themselves, or the homes of them.