CD REVIEWS

An occasional update of music releases

Loreena McKennitt - The Mask and Mirror (Warner Bros.): Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt says her inspiration often comes from a ``fascination with the spiritual and creative aspects of nature and expression.'' This might explain why her music defies categorization. ``The Mask and Mirror,'' her fifth and most recent record, draws from Celtic, Moroccan, and Spanish traditions. Here, McKennitt delivers a textured sampling of her gorgeous voice and multilayered evocations, from the tuneful ``The Bonny Swan'' (inspired by an Irish fable) to the ethereal ``The Dark Night of the Soul'' (inspired by 15th-century Spain). ``Marrakesh Night Market'' and ``The Two Trees'' illustrate her international and classical influences. Though this record is hardly meant for background music, it does warrant a listen by candlelight.

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