Monday, July 16, 2012

Celtic Thunder Voyage II DVD

As a companion to their Voyage CD/DVD combination released earlier in 2012, Celtic Thunder has released Voyage II, a second DVD only available online.  The songs from both DVDs were recorded in Kansas City during the show's Fall 2011 tour, but there were simply too many to all fit on one product.

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.
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  • 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!
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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!
So-So:
  • 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.
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  • 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.  
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  • 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).
Weaknesses:
  • 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.
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  • 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.

8 comments:

  1. erm you said everything I was thinking. :)

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  2. I agree with most of what you have said. Danny Boy is awful, simply awful. Many of us love Celtic Thunder for the harmonies but this is a definite ouch! However, I love Friends in Low Places. Ryan looks happy, sounds great and I watch it over and over again. I am a huge Emmet fan but this version of Hallelujah is weak at best. 500 Miles is wonderful live but we have seen it enough. The bonus footage is a lot of fun, much better than on Voyage I. Irish Molly is great.

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  3. Okay, I have to (respectfully) disagree, but only with the weaknesses. I've never, ever liked the song "Danny Boy". Celtic Thunder's was the first I ever came close to enjoying. And it's the only song that someone else sings that I like their version better than CT's... and that's the Muppets. Until this version... I like it. I really like it.

    And regarding 500 Miles- in my head, I know you're right. In my head, I know you're right. In my head....

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    1. LOL Disagreeing is allowed! :)

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  4. Spot on Jo. :D Exactly what I would have written. That arrangement of Danny Boy either needs to change or it needs to go away...to Danny Boy land. I saw it in Atlantic City again...and it seemed even worse. (If that can happen. Coincidentally..the version of Steal Away was disappointing also in AC) Yep... you nailed it. (Okay....with the exception of Ryan's Friends in Low Places...that one made me smile)

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    1. lol Funnily enough, Steal Away is another one that I would be okay with not hearing anymore.

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  5. I have to respectfully disagree with you on most of your "So-So" and "Weaknesses". I LOVED "Danny Boy" especially the last chord. I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say that "we have heard this song a lot." They only other DVD "Danny Boy" is on is "Take Me Home". Perhaps they do it at their concerts a lot (I've only been able to go to 1 concert so far). I also love anything they do A Capella (love "Steal Away" on the first DVD/CD more than any other version). I do agree with you about "Hallelujah" because I also missed the harmonies. I would also move "500 Miles" from "Weaknesses" to "So-So". Since George performs it so well and it's fun to see him sing it, I wouldn't call it a "Weakness" but since it's on 2 other DVDs I would put in the "So-So" category.

    I love the Voyage and Voyage 2 DVDs so much that it's hard for me to see anything as a "Weakness" lol. I absolutely adore Emmet so I absolutely agree with you about "My Irish Molly". Actually, I agree with everything you put in the "Strengths" category except I would probably add "This is the Moment", but that might just be because I love Emmet so much. :)

    Sorry for my little rant. I just couldn't believe that anyone couldn't like "Danny Boy" and once I got started I couldn't stop! Like my mom says "That's why they make vanilla and chocolate" so I realize that people are going to have different opinions regarding CT songs.

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    1. :) Disagreeing is totally okay here!

      That's funny about Danny Boy... I hadn't realized that it was only on one other product. I've heard it so much in concerts that, FOR ME, it's one that I'm tired of.

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