Voyage II contains some songs that were on the Voyage CD but weren't on the first DVD, like Cats in the Cradle, Friends in Low Places, and Song for the Mira. This DVD is an enjoyable compilation for the avid fan, but it doesn't have as many quality ensemble numbers, so I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a "Give this to someone who's never seen the show" kind of product. For that, I'd stick with the original "The Show" and maybe "Heritage."
Let's start with the good.
Strengths (in order of appearance):
- Cats in the Cradle-- This solo by George Donaldson is a really strong showing and one of the nicer ballad-y-ish songs on the DVD. We see him sitting on the steps of the set, accompanying himself on guitar. It's delightful to see George singing a Chapin song, especially when you know that he's always been an idol of George's.
- My Irish Molly-O-- Newcomer Emmet Cahill is adorable. This peppy tune is fun, flirty, and oh so cute! It's a huge highlight for me... I bought the DVD just for this song. Do not miss it!
- You've Got a Friend-- This is a really sweet bit of performing. Keith Harkin is adorable, and it's very fun to watch the interplay going on between him and young Daniel Furlong who does the actual singing. I know I should probably focus on that... but... Keith is cute.
- 7 Drunken Nights-- LOVE!!! A very fun ensemble song that will have you smiling, I promise. It's very enjoyable. The guys are cute and engaging and hammy. As my daughter once commented, "Ryan's really good at pretending to be drunk, Mom" "He's Irish, honey. Not a lot of acting needed." EVERYONE is great in this one... definitely a highlight.
- Bonus Footage-- I really liked the extra footage that came with this DVD, far more than the footage on the first Voyage DVD. This set highlighted the show's time on the road... things they did, their routines, things they enjoyed. Very nicely done!
- Song for the Mira-- I like this song. It's pretty and sweet and I enjoy it when it's on. However, I don't find it strong enough that I'm thinking "Man, I can't WAIT to hear that song again." Maid of Culmore and Dulaman, both on the first Voyage DVD, were much stronger ensemble songs.
- Hallelujah-- We originally heard this song with Neil, Ryan, and Keith on the "It's Entertainment" DVD, and it's always been a favorite of mine. For "Voyage," they've given us a new version with Neil, Emmet, and Keith. Neil carries the entire first section as a solo until the long break when he's joined by the other two vocalists. I like Neil, and I enjoyed his performance. But I really missed the harmonies on the initial "Hallelujah"s.
- Friends in Low Places-- I'm very torn on this song. On the one hand, Ryan Kelly's version of this Garth Brooks hit is enjoyable. It's great to see Ryan break out of the "Dark Destroyer" persona for once, and a nice change to see him playing guitar. I like those things. But I think this is one of those songs that needs the live audience vibe to really pop. It loses something from LIVE to DVD, and I'm not sure it really caters to Ryan's strengths (of which I am a major fan).
- Danny Boy-- We have heard this song a lot. A LOT. I know they're Irish/Scottish, so maybe they "have" to sing Danny Boy. But it wouldn't kill me if they wanted to retire it for a couple DVDs. Additionally, I don't think this is the best arrangement they've ever had. I like that we're treated to different verses than we usually get, gives the song a different feel. But, there are enough times in this arrangement that the harmonies are just wince-y weird that makes me want to skip it.
- 500 Miles-- I love George. And I like this song. And I like George singing this song. But for heavens sake, can we PLEASE get him a new upbeat song to sing? Anything. Just not this one anymore.