Moya Brennan - the first lady of Celtic music - returns with an album that continues to push the boundaries, that inspires and intrigues. Signature looks back over a life less ordinary and portrays her experiences through a collection of twelve superb tracks
Musically sharp and finely tuned, the album cleverly treads a fine line between the contemporary and the traditional while Moya emerges as a skilled songwriter with a global ear.
In true Irish tradition, many of the songs have that bittersweet flavour - so this is no rose-tinted retrospective. Rather, Signature is a series of snapshots of Moya's life - each chosen moment launches a lyrical reflection - which, when all woven together, produce a tapestry of contrasting colours and emotions.
Moya's life offers plenty of scope for such material and she approaches the project with honesty, integrity and - as you'd expect - one of the most alluring voices around today. From song to song we travel on a rocky road towards a place of beauty, hope and encouragement.
Having been feted by a generation as the singer with Clannad, Moya's life has witnessed plenty of highs. She remains one of Ireland's most respected cultural icons and everyone knows that her music has graced international film soundtracks (most recently with 'King Arthur') as well as Christian recordings, several television series and even dance anthems.
But Moya is not shy of revealing the lows either, as Signature makes clear. Tracks like Black Night and No One Talks approach their subject matter with honesty and clarity, drawing the listener in alongside the singer as only Moya can do.
"When I share things about my life with people I am sometimes amazed at the reaction," says Moya. "I have been really moved in the way that my experiences have brought encouragement to others. Even though we can all feel broken at times we can all be put back together again. I felt that translating some of that into song was a natural progression. I am what I am and here it is!"
Throughout it all Moya's voice and lyrics are beautifully complimented by impeccable melodies and emotive arrangements. Without doubt, Signature is one of the most engaging, personal releases of the year.