Music Review:
The Journey So Far

The Journey So Far: The Best of Loreena McKennitt is the title of the new compilation of music from the Canadian singer and songwriter. Her most popular song is “The Mummers’ Dance,” which is from her 1997 album, The Book of Secrets. The new Best of Loreena McKennitt CD includes that song plus 11 others, all drawn from seven studio albums that span a 30-year career.

McKennitt’s music has clearly been influenced by Celtic culture. The Journey So Far makes it clear that she has also been inspired by various cultures around the world, including those of Greece and China. Poets are also a source of inspiration for her—lyrics of two of the songs in this compilation are from works by the poet W. B. Yeats, and the lyrics of another are adapted from the words of the English poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson.

As one might expect from the collection’s title, McKennitt seems fascinated by journeys. She writes in the notes on the CD cover: “I hope this music inspires many of you on your own journeys and reflections to who knows where.”

There is a haunting, timeless quality to McKennitt’s music. It doesn’t seem to belong to a particular era. This grouping of 12 songs definitely has a spiritual quality; the CD begins with “The Mystic’s Dream” and ends with “Dante’s Prayer.”

In addition to the 12 Best of Loreena McKennitt songs, there is a second disc that includes nine more songs. Those additional songs were recorded live at a concert in Germany in July 2012. This bonus disc provides a hint as to what her concerts are like, for those of us who haven’t been to one.

If you’d like to become better acquainted with the music of Loreena McKennitt, The Journey So Far is an excellent place to start. More broadly, if you’re interested in music that will inspire your spiritual journey, this 2-CD set is worth checking out. 

See more features from the October 2014 issue