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August 2022
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Fan Reviews Part II

and some more fan reviews


Actually this is the first time that I was happy to know some of the songs beforehand, otherwise I would have been stunned by such an avalanche of beautiful new music. I had been looking forward to this CD for a long time. For the three ones I knew already were so unique in their beauty, that I was really hoping to get the whole lot soon&
It starts with the lovely Non siamo isole  we are not islands, and of course it made me wonder if it is based on John Donnes terrific piece of writing ( many will know it, this quotation No man is an island, entire of itself &), but soon I realized, that it meant in a wider way that you cease to be an island the moment you fall in love. To say the least, it is stunningly beautiful and Brian Kennedy, whom they asked to sing with them, fits lovely into their way of singing.
The next one, Ten Thousand Tears made me run for my CD drawer right at the beginning and fetch Madama Butterfly, listening alternately to the Humming-Chorus there and the Humming-Chorus-backdrop bit with Majella Culloghs soprano soaring out in this CD. There is no other word for it, this love-song is hauntingly beautiful and in the best opera tradition, if I may say so!
It is followed by the thoughtful Still by your side, a quiet, unobtrusive song, serene in its beauty, this time assisted by Deidre, Matthews sister, what a lovely voice she has ! This song just tells that there will be no more sadness on the other side of heavens door and that the people we loved so much on earth are here in heaven but still by your side. And do show me someone who misses no one here, so it is like a soothing caress to some hurt&..
Now the next one You raise me up is one of those I knew beforehand. It is just in simple words telling about some one believing that everything will be well if you come and sit awhile with me. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and it is so full of belief, you can translate that either in believing in a person or in God. It is a very comforting kind of song for me.
The wistful All out of love follows this beautiful song, it is exactly the opposite, someone is very unhappy because love has gone away,.. I did not know that an opera-fan like me could take to a song by Air Supply (and they sing it with James/Matthew/Niall too) like that !
Then it is Angel of Mercy. What a song; dedicated to a little girl, whose guardian-angel has blown out the candle of its life so soon! Deidres voice again assists James/Matthew/Niall in this song in a beautiful way and when they sing Your love was a gift from heaven above and love has no end I just hope that this holds true for all bereaved parents around this world, who had to give up their little ones too early. Maybe it is a kind of comfort to Hollys parents(and for her is was that for sure !), that she had her big friends for this last part of her journey; maybe it helped her to flee from the harsh reality into the world of music and love unasked for some of the time&
Now follows a special highlight : Niall singing Lucio Dallas Caruso. I heard it sung by him in Munich last year. Absolutely beautiful and heart-rending, this is the tale of Caruso, who came back from America to Italy, sick and knowing only to well that his time could be over soon, but nevertheless falling in love again.,No aria could be more beautiful and therefore, Niall, this is another written Standing Ovation for this so impressive song.
Advent  the time of waiting , thats what the next song is about, by Liam Lawton. This is another one I knew beforehand and I love it dearly. A thoughtful song, wanting you to think your life over and reminding you of the fact that every decision you make, is done so in your heart and  only you can answer for you! And James explains, that in this case Jerusalem  is a metaphor for this world and the necessity sometimes to make changes of heart here . Lovely done, dear singers !
A heart-breaking song comes next, James interpretation of Eric Nances poem .Who of us can picture how it is to be imprisoned in a cell at Death Row, Arkansas ? Who wonders if Eric and all others, that are in this hell without having commited the crimes they are accused of, question their reason to go on living ? How do they stay sane ? And has this great nation and make no mistake, it is that ! found no other means to punish ? It hurts, that song, and thats how it is meant to be. How much compassion is there for a friend that is helpless alone. James/Matthew/Niall do it in a kind of hushed story-telling, and how I wish it were a story only !
Bright Blue Rose follows, in my opinion another gem.. and here a funny thing happened. The first time in my life I would say the singing has explained to me the lyrics, that I had read beforehand and did not fully understand. And so I will give these lovely, lovely Forget-me-nots among the snow another Standing Ovation in script and there is no need to explain more.
Something sweet and simple follows, the Beatles Song Here, There and Everywhere. And this sounds so friendly, being in a happy mood and knowing that love is to share, each one believing that love never dies  . Understandably they have it in their repertoire since a long time and I hope they keep it, sounds so good, dear James/Matthew/Niall (and I still say that your voices are much better than the originals  no offence meant)!
Matthews solo follows, the lovely I will never let go. And when he sings I could do anything with you by my side, but only if you stay can I survive, it sounds so deep out of his heart and emotional that I do feel that he has matured a lot over the last years (naturally so) and it is a real benefit to his voice. Lovely, something to keep.
So, its near the end of my review and to sum it up, it became clear to me that either intentional or unintentionally this CD fulfils the quotation by John Donne in the full, from No man is an Island to  therefore never ask, for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.. And whoever wants to read the whole thing, it is in his Devotions, Meditation XVII . And for me, this CD could go on and &.. hey, I forgot something, there is one more piece !
So, it is TV-Wars now, and I started the CD- player, for doing a review I have to stop again and again. So I heard it through for the first time, scratched my head and wanted to start it again, and then something curious happened : The machine gobbled up the CD. I was so nonplussed at first, that I just sat with open mouth for a while, because it was new for me to see my beloved CD disappear into the bowels of my CD-player. Two options  either it had liked the whole CD so much that he did not want to give it back or it disliked TV-Wars so much that it did not want to play it again! A helpful son, armed with a special screw-driver ,retrieved it with a severe how did you do that, mother ? So, if my family sees me head for the CD-Player armed with the Torxx-Screw-Driver, they know that I will hear again
We are not Islands.



SligoWeekender - post by a fan
We are not islands - The Celtic Tenors
They started their careers together as a trio very much of the traditional persuasion. The majority of their songs were Irish or Celtic inspired, including classics like "Danny Boy", "Green Fields of France" and "Ag Criost an Siol".
However, having signed with new record label Dara, The Celtic Tenors can finally embrace the crossover genre with open arms.
This album is not a collection of Irish tunes, in fact, "Bright Blue Rose" is the only one. Instead, the album is filled with some superbly chosen songs, some taken from operas, some from the annals of pop history.
This modern interpretation of the Celtic Tenors is classier than Il Divo and more talented than G4. Unfortunately, the opener is something of a let down, not because of James, Niall or Matthew, but because Brian Kennedy performs it with them. Talented singer though Kennedy is, his voice is capable of delivering only one emotion and compared with the tenors' timeless interaction with each other, it almost sounds like he's singing over the top of them.
Nevermind, the album steps up a gear with the song from Madame Butterfly "Ten Thousand Years" sung with Majella Cullagh, a Cork soprano who has no trouble matching the power of the tenors' vocal delivery.
Long-time collaborator (and Matthew's sister) soprano Deirdre Shannon produces a more subtle performance for "Still By Your Side" but the first surprise of the album is the inspiring "You Raise Me Up" sung by, wait for it, Samantha Mumba.
It was the first track that had the hairs on my arms standing up and fair play to Sam, she gives as good as she gets, combining her gospel background with the classical training of Messrs Nelson, Morris and Gilsenan.
The legendary Air Supply contribute two songs to this album, the first being a mellow reinterpretation of "All Out Of Love", the second being a bonus track "TV Wars" taken from a forthcoming rock opera.
Each tenor gets an opportunity to sing solo and James Nelson steals the show with his self-penned song "Eric's Song". The sleeve notes provide a poignant back story to this inspirational tune.
Their treatment of "Bright Blue Rose" is as pure as the author Jimmy McCarthy could have imagined. Rather than fill it with bluster and tenor volume, they tread gently through the song and break your heart in the process.
"Here, There and Everywhere", the McCartney pop masterpiece is brilliantly entertaining while the bonus track "TV Wars" hints at a very interesting opera in the making."


Today I received a gift of music, a gift sent to me by a friend overseas. Although I knew that it was coming, I never realized what everyone was talking about, no, make that 'shouting about'. The sheer brilliance of this CD, and as a friend of mine likes to say, I was 'Gobsmacked' as well. Right at this moment, I am listening to Niall sing in my ear in Italian....Caruso! OMG this is the most beautiful song!!! His italian is perfecto! I am speechless, once again!! Oh, Deep in your heart is playing now. Matthew has such a lovely voice, and I love what he wrote on my CD!!!! James duet with Majella Cullagh is so powerful that it nearly knocks you right out of the room. Simply amazing powerful voices!! I am humbled by the power in both of their voices! I cried through Still by your side and thought of my sister,Susan and my Dad. I love Bright Blue Rose, (LOVE IT!!!!) Eric's Song, the Beatles Classic, Here, there and everywhere...TV Wars reminds me of Queen or something along the lines of 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' which I have seen a dozen or so times! I am humbled , HUMBLED. The tunes from this new CD will grace the walls of my new home which, by the way, I get the keys for tomorrow! The Celtic Tenors are 'indeed'Irelands' gift to the World!
The new CD from the Celtic Tenors is here. And this time there is nothing Irish about it. Never have I heard crossover-singing more beautiful than here. It starts with Non Siamo Isole ( with Brian Kennedy) , a little jewel, goes on with Ten Thousand Tears (Majella Cullogh added) und it is outstandingly beautiful ! Still By Your Side brings us for the first time Deidre's wonderful voice, she is the sister of one of the tenors - how much talent in one family ! Then another moving song : You Raise Me Up, having Samantha Mumba as a guest-star. Then they are singing All Out Of Love with Air Supply. And the next one - Angel Of Mercy - is dedicated to a little girl, who used to be a great fan of the Celtic Tenors. Another highlight is next - Niall Morris sings Lucio Dallas' Caruso. And this is outstanding ! Deep in your heart follows (Liam Lawton), a beautiful song that wants you to think it over, now comes Eric's Song, and that makes you want to break the iron bars of all prisoners, that are not guilty of the crimes they are accused of, all around the world. (James Nelson was the composer to Eric's poem and he sings it too). Then follows Bright Blue Rose (absolutely beautiful), followed by the Beatles-Song Here-There and Everywhere (the Celtic Tenors really do like the Fab Four!) and then it is another highlight, Matthew Gilsenan with I Will Never Let Go, super ! A bonus track is added, that is not timeless as the other songs are : TV-Wars from the coming Rock-Opera. I suppose they just enjoyed that !
All in all I would say, that is is like a pair of hands, slowly opening up, and every