Sunday, January 15, 2012

The new Celtic Woman

I began to listen to Celtic Woman a few years ago. It was actually towards the end of what was probably their most well known and original formation: Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, and Máiréad Nesbitt. Chloe, the youngest, was my instant favorite, and with continued viewing, Lisa was fun, too. I never really cottoned up to the other three. Orla and Meav left at about the same time and were replaced by Lynn Hilary and Alex Sharpe. I liked them to varying degrees and felt they made an excellent harmony with Chloe and Lisa.

Unfortunately, neither lasted long. Stated reasons are about wanting to spend more time with family and return home to Ireland. If true, I certainly applaud the choice, but didn't they have a clue what they were getting into? Why audition for an international group like this if you don't have or want to invest the time? I mean, these gals were there, at maximum, two years, and I don't think either really made it more than one year.

It took them a while, but the group finally added a new singer, Lisa Lambe, but just Lisa. This makes the one-time quartet, a trio, and it is just odd. The reason is that they are missing that low part of the register. All three of these gals do their best as sopranos. They just don't have that lower part of the scale so everything is too high pitched for my liking.

The group acts differently, which is fine. I actually like that element. Originally, they were very rigid in their stances and choreographed moves. Everything is still very choreographed, but they are more animated. These three act like buddies and they are probably closer in age than any of the other mixes (but I'm only guessing). It's fun to see them a bit looser in presentation, and goodness, they have a sweet sound. I just miss that alto for contrast. I need the variety, and so do their songs.

Now Lisa Kelly has announced she's taking time away to have another family. I'm happy for her. I suspect she's a great mom. A replacement has been announced for 2012, but I don't know how she mixes in or if she can fill that lower register gap I think the group needs. Her name is Susan McFadden.

I'll miss Lisa Kelly and I sure hope she comes back. Chloe is still my favorite. She's all grown up now. You can see the maturity on her face and the confidence in her demeanor. Young Chloe is now the veteran.

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