- Perfect Time
by Paul M. Carhart
Originally published in The Lighthouse Electronic
Maire Brennen, new artist, right? Wrong. New, perhaps, to the Christian
market but hardly new at all. Brennen's vocals with the Celtic-pop
group Clannad (with whom she has been performing and recording for
28 years) can be heard on a myriad of soundtracks including "Patriot
first took a tentative step into the Christian music market as a
guest artist on Iona's 1995 release, Journey Into The
Morn, playing Celtic harp, singing background vocals and coaching
Iona vocalist, Joanne Hogg in Gaelic (the ancient Irish language)
for the opening track.
with Perfect Time, Maire (pronounced "Moy-a") Brennen shows
us just how versed she is in Gaelic, performing no less than three
of the ten tracks (two of which are instrumental) completely in
that language, another two in both Gaelic and English. Thankfully,
Brennen provides translation in the liner notes -- not that a translation
is necessary. The sweeping expanse of the canvas of Perfect Time
crosses the language barrier. Brennen proves on this outing that
music truly is the universal language.
and stylistically, Brennen will appeal to fans of Iona and
Enya the latter of which is actually her sister. Brennen's
voice is a perfectly tuned instrument, as precise as her harp playing
and every track is produced with lush orchestral arrangements steeped
with Celtic instruments (flutes and harps mainly), Irish melodies
and flawless performances.
Time tends to be less a pop album than a classical one with
some pop sensibilities thrown in for good measure. Choirs of interweaving
background vocals enhance the opening track ("The Big Rock") which
can more easily be heard on the instrumental version at the end
of the album. This is not just a Celtic album thinly disguised as
a Christian album, as evidenced in "Perfect Time" and "Heal This
Land", two of the completely English tracks. Both are lyrical conversations
with God in which Brennen concedes to His greatness, power and control.
The translations of the Gaelic tracks also bring an unmistakable
Christian message. For example, the translation for "Na Páistí (The
Children)" reads as follows:
said let the little children come to me For the Kingdom of God belongs
to such as these He told us to be true like little children For
the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these He took the children
in His arms and hugged them Put His hands on them and blessed them
Perfect Time plays like an Irish Christian soundtrack, opening
and closing with alternate versions of the same theme song and filling
in the tracks between with sweeping anthems and soothing ballads.
the success of Irish-inspired music from Riverdance to Titanic and
the recent growth in Christian music, it seems Maire Brennen has
released her Christian debut at the Perfect Time.