Last Reviews - "Endless Seasons" update on June 22, 2010
January 13, 2001
Terrific mix of styles
The Rankins are a great all-round talented family. This album shows off their many talents to perfection. A cool mix of traditional celtic, and Rankin penned songs. Track #4, which comprises two songs, is sung in Gaelic. They are traditional Gaelic songs composed in Cape Breton and Nova Scotia respectively. For anyone who likes a mix of traditional with modern, pop and country, then you will love this album.
February 13, 2000
Touched My Soul and Opened My Heart
This is the first time I've heard the Rankin Family. The clarity and harmony of their voices is almost mesmerizing. This is a perfect example of contemporary Celtic music. Their talent and love of music comes across in each track. I recommend their music to anyone who loves the Irish/Scottish genre.
December 3, 1999
Somebody had to recognize the 5 stars this album deserves!
I probably listen to "Endless Seasons" more than just about any other album I own. Feeling depressed? Listen to "Feel the Same Way Too" and I guarantee it's going to be gone. Want to hear majesty in music? You won't beat "Boat's Lost at Sea". Like harmony in group singing? The Rankins can't be beat. I was not as happy with "North Country", but "Endless Seasons" is a jewel.
November 30, 1998
Don't think, just close your eyes and listen
The previous reviewers are working to hard at it -- this is a down home family making music the way they like it. I was travelling in Cape Breton when North Country was released, and it undoubtedly catches the mood and the feel of the place. The locals know them on a first name basis. These are your neighbors playing at the local festival, not some Kelto-country-pop synthesis-conspiracy carefully packaged for the masses. So grab a mug, sit down, relax, and listen. Oh, and push the repeat button so you won't have to get up.
October 30, 1998
Wilson Phillips Meets The Black Family
The Rankin Family is an interesting study in the marketing of Keltic music. Keltic is the crossover of choice these days. We have Keltic Rock, Keltic Country, Keltic Pop, and now Keltic Perk. Well-scrubbed and perky best defines the music of these 5 Canadian siblings. While their Gaelic pronunciation is flawless, their lack of imagination in selecting and arranging the same material is startling. Their vocal harmony (can't beat that sibling thing) is certainly their strong point, and their singing steadily improves with each album--however one word of caution, ladies: just because you can physically hit a note, doesn't mean you SHOULD. The album is beautifully produced and the group's presentation gets more commercial with each outing. Favorite cuts: "As I Roved Out," "Forty Days and Nights," and "Your Boat's Lost at Sea." Perhaps the trouble is the focus seems to be on 'commercial' from an outsider's perspective. The wholesome Rankins are trying too hard to be hip. They're not. ENDLESS SEASONS is just slightly out of date.
September 10, 1998
Good tunes well played
Is it Celtic? Is it folk? Is it country? Is it pop? I don't care. This album is simply a lot of fun. The strengths: beautiful harmonies, catchy tunes, and some wonderful playing (notably by John Morris Rankin and Howie MacDonald). The biggest weaknesses: Jimmy Rankin's lyrics, which while better than past efforts will never be candidates for a poetry anthology, and vocals that occasionally cross the line to "precious." The best cuts, to my ear are "Eyes of Margaret" and "Blue Eyed Suzie" (both by John Morris) and Jimmy's "You'd Feel the Same Way Too." What do we need to do to get this group some U.S. airplay?
Q Magazine 3/96
"...they've evolved from fiddle- based traditionalists to a contemporary style that, at its best, remains authentically rootsy..."
08/??/95 - Jam Album Reviews
By John Sakamoto
The Rankin Family
The unspoken homily lurking behind album number four by this Maritime
family appears to be "familiarity breeds contempt." Switching
from the only producer they've ever used, Chad Irschick, to Nashville
hot John Jennings - best known for his work with Mary Chapin Carpenter -
The Rankins have, ironically, come up with their most stripped-down
album. Though the mix of material hasn't changed appreciably (ballads,
tall tales, an d traditional folk songs), there are two differences:
one, a more self-consciously New Country sound in spots (especially on
the first single, You Feel The Same Way Too); two, a more democratic
distribution of lead vocals and writing, with John Morris and Cookie
chipping in three songs between them, and main writer Jimmy Rankin
contributing four. The results are still familiar, but not enough to
inspire anything approaching contempt.
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