The Journey So Far (The Best of Loreena McKennitt) might initially make you think that it is another compilation album. It is indeed a collection of her best songs spanning a career which started in the mid-80s. I listened to the double CD and there are tracks that have been altered. There are songs that get shortened. For example, the Lady of Shallot which is originally more than ten minutes has been trimmed to just above four minutes.
There are also new arrangements of album tracks like in the case of The Old Ways. The sound of drums and other instruments have been removed while others are thrown in front of the mix. Still, there are more songs in The Journey So Far that are different from what you originally heard in the album versions. I am glad for the inclusion of The Mummer’s Dance(radio edit) and other singles.
My personal favorite is a different take on Full Circle( from The Mask and the Mirror) in which though maintaining her powerful singing, the CODA has a rhythmic, almost reggae feel. Though there are those who might find contentment in their old McKennitt collections, new as well as die-hard fans will definitely enjoy this album.
The selling point in all her releases is always her amazing voice. Check out her live songs and you will know that she can carry a tune with exquisite technique inside and outside of the studio. There are many musicians who can reach her vocal range but to have an amazing technique within an already fascinating voice is a rare gift.
You can buy the album in different formats including the delicious vinyl through her Quinlan Road store: