Personnel: Ewan Cowley (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki); Gerald Peregrine, Martin Johnston (cello); Tommy Martin (whistle, Uilleann pipe); David Downes (whistle, grand piano, keyboards, percussion, background vocals); Anthony Byrne (bagpipe); Eoghan O'Neill (bass guitar); Ray Fean (drums, bodhran, percussion); Andy Reilly (bodhran, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Andrew Boland.
Recording information: Studio Two; Windmill Lane Studio 1.
Director: Rosemary Collier.
Photographer: Jason Fobart.
Publisher: Johnny Lappin.
Arranger: David Downes.
Believe, the sixth outing from the Celtic Woman, features 17 new tracks that dutifully blur the line between traditional and contemporary pop music. For the most part, the group, which consists of vocalists Chlo‰ Agnew, Lisa Kelly and newcomer Lisa Lambe, violinist M ir‚ad Nesbitt, and a full orchestra, don't deviate too much from the Riverdance-meets-Celine Dion approach that's made them internationally lauded stars since their formation in 2004. Folk standards like "The Parting Glass," "Water Is Wide," and "Green Grow the Rushes" glisten with new age flourishes, yet retain their distinctive melodies, while grandiose takes on pop hits (Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters") and inspirational anthems ("You'll Never Walk Alone") throw subtlety under the bus and drive off into the sunset, resulting in another elegant and accessible set from the ladies that's sure to please longtime fans, while simultaneously reinforcing their detractors' ire. ~ James Christopher Monger