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June 2019
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Fan reviews

Fan thoughts about "We are not Islands"


I could not resist checking in the CD shops after work yesterday. And I found - "We are not Islands" neatly stacked in a very central area of one of them.
Needless to say I was thrilled and hurried home with my copy. First of all, I am very impressed by the look of it, the CD actually comes in a little sleeve/presentation box kind of thingy and that looks very elegant!
Also needless to say, even my neighbours will know the CD quite well after last night as I listened to it several times. How great to finally have Caruso at MY command whenever I want to listen to it! However I was not really able to pick a favourite, not even if my life depended on it. "Ten Thousand Tears" is as gripping as "Bright Blue Rose", "Still by your side" as moving as "I will never let go", and this is only talking about the songs I had not known before. And there's "Angel of Mercy" and "Here there and everywhere" now also available whenever I want it... As well as all the other songs that I have known for a while now, and love listening to. And wow Celtic Tenors, where does this Bonus Track come from??? Rock Opera, well, that explains it... "TV Wars" is SO different from what I know and would have expected to be on this CD, it actually left me staring at the CD player when it started. An interesting one to say the least, and the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. I am curious about other reactions especially to this one, though.
You know the feeling when a melody is haunting you and is going round and round in your head all day? It's like that multiplied by a dozen today. The lines just come and go, in a mixture of songs really, and I am already looking forward to coming home tonight!!!


As soon as I put my foot in the door at home the new album was in the CD player and is running constantly since then. I think I'm in round 5 or 6 now so here's my personal song-by-song impression:
Non Siamo Isole - I LOVE this song. One of the most beautiful tracks to me. Nice live but I miss Brian. Matt is excellent but I think I need a while to get into the live version without Mr. Kennedy ;-)
Ten thousand tears - what a beautiful, beautiful song full of emotion.
Still by your side - only one word WOW I burst into tears while listening to the words and I can't imagine better singers for this than our tenors.
You raise me up - different to Non Siamo Isole! I adore the Tenors' live version without Madame Mumba but still the album version is really nice.
All out of love - memories come floating back and yes this could be a hit again - even or especially if the guys do it live without Air Supply ;-)
Angel of Mercy - one of my favourite songs for sure - beautiful, sad, emotional - I love Deirdre's bit in there.
Caruso - Pavarotti go home, here comes Niall!!! I think this is what describes the song. Big Luce might sing perfect notes but NO emotions and Niall has both - perfect notes AND emotions - congratulations to this masterpiece!
Deep in your heart - slightly different to the version which was recorded for Liam's CD and the version on We are not Islands is the version I prefer - the beginning is so very beautiful and makes the song more "complete" for my ears.
Eric's Song - we all know the story and the more I listen to this the more the lyrics settle in my brain. Niall's little press info describes this song perfectly and I do understand why James wanted to put this into music, it's a hymn to all we take for granded opening our eyes for those little things we keep forgetting....
Bright Blue Rose - a song I always loved but this version is so, so beautiful - thanks for recording one of my favourites!
Here, there and everywhere - Ringo, Paul, John and George really did lots of wonderful and touching music and now the guys brought this back adding their perfect harmonies - love it!
I will never let go - Thank you for another wonderful solo, Matthew! What a touching love song this is!!!
TV Wars - okay, I think this will be a like or hate. I put my fingers up for the like side!!! As I just heard a very good friend saying: this would have been a perfect one for Freddy Mercury for sure. Cool song!


I have now listened to the CD three times and WOW!!! I had already heard a number of the songs either in concert or through the wonders of the Internet.
My love of such tracks as `Non Siamo Isole', `You Raise Me Up', and `Caruso' continue unabated but despite the warning of someone (John I think) I was unprepared for the magic of `Ten Thousand Tears'. I can't begin to match others' articulate descriptions but I must say Matthew and Niall are outstanding, and James - I am speechless! The power and beauty of his duet with Majella Cullagh is breathtaking!
The whole album is a delight, the solos (Caruso, Eric's Song, and I Will Never Let Go) first class, and all the new songs inspiring but `Ten Thousand Tears' really blew me away.
Many thanks to these three gifted men and their guests for a magnificent new CD.


As for the CD - for me personally it's the best one so far! I love every single song - they're being sung so emotionally and were treated with great arrangements! It's hard to pick a favourite, but at the moment I really adore "Deep in your heart" - it's beautiful melody and lyrics have captured my heart from the very first time I heard it and at the moment it serves as a sort of guideline for myself. But every single song is a real diamond and I hope we'll be treated to all the songs live soon! A special word here to "TV wars" - I didn't quite know what to expect but was positively surprised - remeinds me strongly of Queen and "Bohemian Rhapsodie". I enjoy listening to it and I'm pretty sure Freddy would have loved it!!!


I LOVE(!!!) the new CD.It´s really amazing!!!I like every song very much and it's not easy for me to name a favourite...but I think mine is -´Deep in your heart -´.It went deep into my heart from the very first moment. But I have to repeat that I LIKE ALL SONGS so much-a million thanks to our lads for their wonderful music.It means so much to me!!!


I am ALL OUT OF SLEEP over the new CD and would like to share with you these sleepless hours that are now filled with such a beauty of music! The CT have set to sound their masterpiece, and I still can't believe all the wonders that are coming from a tiny little silver disc.
Every song is perfect, to my ears. I am much too unmusical to talk about music. But I have an idea that there is so much musical imagination in this CD that I never heard before and never dreamt of. It is amazing and new every time I listen again.
Their harmonies, the orchestral arrangements, and most of all the special parts of all three of them and their guests as well make this CD a special work of art, and it is understatement when Niall speaks of musical gold dust in one song.
You feel you are bathing in gold dust, but then gold is the last thing you think of when listening, you just feel absolutely happy. If I wrote about every song I'd never find an end......
James' part in "Ten Thousand Tears" knocks me off my feet and meakes me hold my breath, as Niall's 'Caruso' does. You wish to have an empty head and body to take up all the beauty of sound! John is absolutely right about the rest of 'Ten Thousand Tears'. Matthew's solo and ALL his parts are GRAND, amazing, tender, strong and BEAUTIFUL.
'Bright Blue Rose' is, for me, the biggest surprise on this CD and just the way they sing it brings love and respect and peace into the world. Everyone should hear it, it is lovely and tender and calming and ready to dissolve the last bit of aggression in anyone...(if this were only true!!!!). The lads should receive the Nobel Award for peace for their presentation of this song. I never had a favourite on a CT album, but this 'Bright Blue Rose' is the most beautiful music I have ever heard and I am happy to live to hear it.
Thank you James, Niall and Matthew for this wonderful album, for all the hard work and efforts you put into it.
I am overwhelmed to find even a tiny bit of Jimmy Hendrix in 'TV Wars' , and it is this song that keeps me ALL OUT OF SLEEP, it wakes me up each time;-)


Bright Blue Rose
The lady with the garden tank (I am ducking to avoid the flying objects) has really nailed the sentiment of this track (and I shall try to write down my thoughts about all the new tracks some time soon). But 'Bright blue rose' has a quintessential Irishness through and through. Gentle and lilting from the guitar introduction, peaceful says it perfectly, and the lyrics are wonderful - mention of 'goes down with the ease of dolphins', and 'forget-me-nots among the snows' - how miraculously some people can convey love and beauty in the world with everyday words linked together magically - the composer, Jimmy MacCarthy, certainly knows his stuff. The vocal performances are understated and shy during the verses, and the chorus, with its utterly perfect harmonies, show how well voices can become parts of the overall orchestral combination, so perfectly are they pitched and combined.
My second favourite track, but despite its beauty, still a far second to 'Ten thousand tears' which is going to take some matching up to. In ordinary circumstances, I'd have latched on to this song instantly, but I'm afraid most things are going to fade into obscurity for a while yet in relative terms.


can I please join the choir of praise for the new CD??? It is beyond words, it is just SO beautiful! I have already found my favourites after listening to it almost endlessly since yesterday afternoon. The whole cd is nothing but a gem, a masterpiece, but even more than I expected. Ten thousand tears (which is playing right now while I'm writing this)... I don't know what to say! Breathtaking! As is All out of Love. I always quite liked this song, it's so familiar, so well-known, but yet so very new, so ...WOW! It doesn't happen often (;-)) but I'm speechless! Still by your side, Bright blue rose, I will never let go, the incredible Caruso and the TV Wars song... ach, all of them are really making my heart soar. This cd will NOT leave my stereo or pc (like now) for quite some time to come! Long awaited, long anticipated, but more than well worth the wait...
Lots of love, especially to the CTs with a huge THANK YOU for this "gold dust" piece of music and song!


After a delay of some months the question had to be asked "would the new album be worth the wait?" The answer is a resounding YES! What follows is a very personal track by track review of the CD from a layman's (or should that be woman's) point of view:
Non siamo Isole/We are not Islands" A terrific start to the album with a hint of what is to come - classic Tenros, modern Tenors, cross-over Tenors. Wets the appetite.
Ten Thousand Tears A unique take on a famous operatic song. Simply beautiful. Matthew's voice seems to be ideally suited to this, very well supported by Niall and James with superb back-up from Majella Cullagh.
Still by your side Anyone who has ever lost someone dear will identify with this haunting song. It should become an anthem at funerals as a celebration of life rather than the usual dirges mourning a lost loved one.
You raise me up Classic Tenors using their own very distincitive style on a modern song. It's the sort of song you feel has been around for years but apparently it's relatively new. Samantha Mumba adds real depth to the lyrics.
All out of love I first heard this when the Celtics were being interviewed on Radio 2 earlier in the year. It evoked memories of my youth and at the same time made me actually listen to the words. Air Supply's voices really compliment the Tenors'.
Angel of Mercy Another beautiful song that seems to bring new depths to the Celtic's range, highlighting their individual voices but also accentuating their unique harmonising.
Caruso Clever Niall! How does he remember all that Italian? He would make Caruso proud!
Deep in your heart When this first began I thought it was going to be very similar to Adagio from the 'So Strong' album but then it suddenly changed tack which very cleverly makes one sit up and really listen to both the lyrics and the melody. Vey inspiring.
Eric's Song For me, this was the most thought provoking song on the album. Not knowing the background to Eric Nance's imprisonment it's hard to understand wheather one should be sympathetic to his plight but James reminds us that prisoners are still human beings.
Bright blue rose If ever a song was to make me cry this would be it. Simpy stunning and a little eerie.
Here, there and everywhere I suppose most of us of a certain age still belive that the Beatles were the best of their era so it's great to hear this alternative version sung in their own unique Celtic Tenors style.
I will never let go A gentle, relatively simple love song brought to life by Matthew's beautifully wide-ranging vocals. A song relevant to all aspects of love.
TV Wars WOW! What a way to end the album - Queen eat your heart out! Just how much more versatile can the Celtics be?


In the late 1800's Thomas Edison was doodling around to improve the telegraph machine. He noticed that the vibrations from the machine, when played at high speeds, sounded like speech. So, Tom got to work. Using a stylus and a cylinder, he recorded and played back the human voice for the first time, his voice, reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Tom was on to something. And he called it the phonograph. Wax cylinders gave way to records and in the early 20th Century, people were enjoying recorded music in their own homes. How many ladies swooned to the sound of the tenor voice, setting the mood, on the cranked up Victrola in the parlor, while a gentleman caller proposed on the front porch. More romance, more marriage and the birth of more inventors and....... inventions. Cut to high fidelity and stereophonic sound, long playing records replaced by compact discs and sound so real and technology so advanced that our homes are turned into mini concert halls at the push of the power button. And with all this technology, have things really changed much? Ladies are still reeling over the tenor voice but just make sure that Niall, James and Matthew are singing on my Sony.
By now, have you guessed? With gratitude to Thomas Alva Edison and most especially to a dear friend, I have just heard the new cd of the Celtic Tenors and I adore each and every track. Some voices are so beautiful and some interpretations are so powerful that it almost hurts to listen. The beauty is that intense and your senses are in overdrive taking it all in. So you listen again and again and each time, you listen, you are overcome with that luscious, living instrument that James says is dependent on a mere two centimeters of gristle.
The Celtic Tenors combine powerful intensity of interpretation with ultra-magnificent voices that reverberate long after the cd has played. The walls now echo with their sound and the house is alive with it. These men never stand still, they are kinetic, challenging themselves in each cd and daring us to ever look at music the same way again. This cd will take off like a bullet and go platinum all the way to titanium.
And did I mention, James' "Eric's Song," Matthew's, "I Will Never Let Go," and Niall's "Caruso??!!!" OMG!! Ladies, start cranking your Victrolas.