Sunday, October 7, 2012

Celtic Thunder It's Entertainment! CD Review

It's Entertainment
Celtic Thunder's Spring 2010 CD release, It's Entertainment, is what I affectionately think of as "The Cover CD."  If you are looking for an album full of Irish favorites, this isn't what you're looking for. But, if you like covers of songs you already know and love, sung with finesse, I suggest you check it out. 

I've seen Celtic Thunder get a good load of criticism for this album, saying that it strays too far from their "Irish roots." But, a lot of my favorite tracks come from this album.  It's a good set of songs and enjoyable to listen to.  But, it is full of not-Celtic covers, and you should be aware of that before you buy it.  Michael Buble, The Beach Boys, U2, Bryan Adams, Neil Diamond, Jim Croce... um, Cher. It's all on there.

With 16 regular tracks, and various "bonus tracks" depending on your purchase outlet, this CD is full and worth the purchase price. 

The Great

George Donaldson scores big time with his solos on this album. Life with You clocks in as my favorite of George's upbeat songs. It's fun, rocky, energetic and makes me very smiley.  On the flipside, his cover of Hello Again is also my favorite of his ballads-- warm, mellow, and full of feeling.

Bad Bad Leroy Brown is Ryan Kelly at his best and is well worth the listen.  An excellent track, Ryan infuses this song with signature fire to make it smoky and flirtatiously fun.  You'll find your feet tapping from start to finish.

Ryan Kelly, Keith Harkin, Neil Byrne
Ryan, Keith, and Neil in Hallelujah
Hallelujah is a beautiful tune that features Kelly, Neil Byrne, and Keith Harkin. It starts with Byrne and slowly adds one voice at a time until it becomes the full trio, showcasing some really beautiful harmonies from three very talented men. The launch into another verse, after a moment of silent expectation where you're not sure if the song is over or not, is beautiful and not to be missed.

Still Haven't Found is easily the best ensemble piece on the album. It's full of energy and fantastic harmonies.  You'll love it!

The Good

The ensemble track of Amazing Grace is beautiful. It really is.  It's an acapella version with some breathtaking harmonies. But, for whatever reason, it isn't a "listen to it all the time" song for me, either.

Paul Byrom in Doo Wacka Doo
Paul in Doo Wacka Doo
Just Like Jesse James is also a really nice song, sung by Charley Bird. But the "Who??" you just uttered is exactly the problem with it. There just doesn't seem to be any sense for why a song that isn't sung by anyone who is a part of Celtic Thunder is even on the CD at all. It seems out of place.

Doo Wacka Doo, sung by Paul Byrom, is a fun silly song that shows off his lighter side. It's highly enjoyable, but doesn't have a lot of meat to it.

The Skippable

Neil Byrne in When You Wish Upon a StarNeil Byrne's voice is really sweet. But, When You Wish Upon a Star just seems to go on and on and is melodically redundant. I always end up skipping to the next song way before its end.

I wanted so badly to like Ryan Kelly's Everything I Do. I really did, and I tried very hard. I've always thought that a Bryan Adams song would be a great fit for Ryan's voice, but this one unfortunately just falls flat for me. It feels well-sung but not well-felt?

Finally, we need to have a talk about the Celtic Thunder Anthem. This is a song that's only available as a bonus track on CD's purchased through QVC.... and that's probably a good thing. It's like some sort of tragically cheesy theme song.  I mean, it's funny... You can't help but laugh.  But really not in a way you'd want someone to laugh at something you've produced.

If You Can Only Afford Three Tracks

  1. Still Haven't Found
  2. Hallelujah
  3. Bad Bad Leroy Brown


  1. Oh my gosh, the "Anthem". I was one of the priveleged few who hear it live, in Boston 2009. Cheesy, yes, and fun once people figured out they were supposed to sing along. But... also way out of place for their shows, I think the boys and the band are better than that :)


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