Monday, January 28, 2013

Celtic Thunder's "It's Entertainment!" DVD Review

Celtic Thunder released its DVD, It's Entertainment!, in early 2010. It was the first release where the audience of a dedicated filming was comprised of predominantly fans. As with the accompanying CD, Celtic Thunder has received a good amount of criticism for this release as it's heavy on American covers, and very light on what would be considered the more "Celtic" leaning. But, I find that a lot of my favorites come from this release and it's a fun one to watch.

One major criticism... and it's a criticism that begins with It's Entertainment and just keeps going through later releases..  The audience shots.  It's not even just the audience shots. I can appreciate the visual need to break away from the action every once in a while. It's the vast number of shots showing audience members singing along. Words cannot express how irritating I find that.

The Great

Damian McGinty's Standing on the Corner is one of my favorites to watch him perform. It's a cute song about a young man girl-watching, and Damian sings with with adorable flirtyness! If you can watch this without a big grin on your face, there's something wrong with you.

The version of Hallelujah that is on this DVD is truly beautiful. It's a trio, beginning with Neil Byrne (his first release with a performance that is more than guitar and backing vocals and possibly the last time he appeared looking all rebel-like) and later adding Ryan Kelly and Keith Harkin. The harmonies are poignant and gorgeous, and it consistently figures in my Celtic Thunder favorites. Do NOT miss this one.

George Donaldson's version of The Proclaimers' Life With You is one of George's more popular upbeat songs and, I would argue, possibly his best. It is very fun and lively and always puts a huge smile on my face.

With a full accompaniment of dancers, Ryan Kelly performs a hugely entertaining Bad Bad Leroy Brown. This song is full of action with even Ryan trying out his dancing moves. It's worth a watch just for that, but the song itself is a great match for Ryan's flirty and smoky nature.

The standout of the recording is possibly the ensemble performance of U2's Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. It's upbeat and catchy, full of great harmonies that are sure to please the ear. The singers themselves seem to be having so much fun performing and that's very contagious.

The Good

Keith performs a three-song medley of beachy 1960's hits in Surfer Medley that is a lot of fun to watch. He looks very dapper in his dad's vintage suit! I enjoy the dancing girls that come out to entertain during his song, but my young daughter thinks they could have lost that part.

You Raise Me Up, performed by Paul Byrom, is breathtaking. A repeat from the Take Me Home product, it's delivered with tenderness and poignancy, before smacking you back in your seat with an ending infused with power.

Oh, Just Like Jesse James. It's, oddly, sung by Charley Bird, but lip synced to by dancer Caroline Torti. Filmed on the same night as a different product, Storm, which needed a dancing singing girl, there are surely contractual deals that went into why this was performed the way it was... but... Honestly, I would have just preferred to have Charley, who is a talented vocalist, come perform the song.

The Skippable

Nada. I like them all to one degree or another, and there's really not any that I dislike enough to not bother with.

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