‘Faileasan’ by Joy Dunlop(November 21, 2012)
Before I get cracking on this review of ‘Faileasan’ by Joy Dunlop, I’d like to point out that I don’t understand a word of Gaelic and at my age I’m not about to change. However well intentioned it is in promoting the language, there is a massive hurdle for this album to overcome - that of educating an ambivalent society … namely ‘the great British public’.
On the plus side for us Southerners the accompanying book does have the song lyrics helpfully translated into English but in all honesty who wants to go to the bother of reading lyrics that don’t scan and prove a distraction while you’re trying to get into the music? Capercaillie and Clannad understood this only too well by at least splitting the difference which helped them commercially (I know…it’s a dirty word) and more than likely helped promote their native language.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with ‘Faileasan’ as all the tracks are in Gaelic. This is a specialist market and although I know there are those that would say I’m being pretty negative as the album is after all (presumably) aimed at a ‘folk’ music audience, beautiful though it is I personally think Ms Dunlop has missed an opportunity by being too exclusive. For me at least I think that’s a shame as there’s obviously been a lot of hard work put into the recording by the superb musicians along with sumptuous gatefold sleeve photography and an accompanying booklet that would give a major record label a run for its money.
You can find ‘Faileasan’ on Sradag Music, catalogue #SRM004
Reviewer: Pete Fyfe