Celtic Fairy Lullaby
~ Bill Binkelman - Retailing Insight Magazine
"2002 (originally Pamela and Randy Copus) have had a long and highly acclaimed career, going back to 1992’s Wings. With the addition of daughter Sarah (now all of 12 years old!) on lead and backing vocals (first heard on 2014’s Trail of Dreams), the trio has reached a height that eclipses all their previous accolades. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is a magnificent recording, rife with deep mysticism, heartbreaking beauty, and many moments that are likely to have you catching your breath in wonder. The album contains twelve rapturous Celtic lullabies, sung by Sarah in Gaelic, Welsh or English and accompanied by Pamela and Randy’s superb instrumentation (guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, flute and harp)."
~ Kathy Parsons - Mainly Piano
2002 has been one of the most popular and distinctive names in New Age music for well over twenty years with their ethereal acoustic and electronic instrumentals, often enhanced with wordless vocals. Over the past several years, Pamela and Randy Copus have been adding lyrics to some of their songs and introducing their daughter, Sarah, as a new member of the group. Sarah was featured prominently on their 2014 release, Trail of Dreams, which went on to win “Best Vocal Album” at that year’s Zone Music Reporter Awards. With their new release, Celtic Fairy Lullaby, 11-year-old Sarah is featured on most of the twelve tracks singing in Gaelic, Welsh and English as well as playing harp and violin (not all at the same time!). Now referred to as “The First Family of New Age Music,” their sound is still very much the 2002 we have come to know and love over the years, while allowing that sound to freely evolve. Randy Copus performs on guitar, bass, piano, and keyboards while Pamela plays flute and harp.
Celtic Fairy Lullaby is a collection of “timeless songs from ancient lands.” All of the music has a slow, flowing tempo and a consistent mood that makes the album perfect for relaxation, sleep, and meditation. Sarah’s voice is light and angelic, and, to my ears, a bit overpowered by the backing instrumentation. I’m not even sure which of the songs are sung in English, and I keep straining to hear what she is singing even if I don’t know the languages. Letting go of that and listening to Sarah’s voice as another musical instrument, the album is beautiful and soothing from start to finish.
My favorite track on the album is the haunting “Cariad.” In places, Sarah harmonizes with her own voice and shows her remarkable range - both musically and emotionally. Pamela’s flute is especially lovely on this track. I also really like “Bi Thusa ‘Mo Shuile (Be Thou My Vision),” a new arrangement of the traditional Irish hymn that has become very popular over the past several years. “Eamonn an Chnoic” is a sweet and gentle instrumental that tells the story of a Robin Hood type of figure in Irish history. “My Singing Bird” is the other instrumental track, with harp and flute carrying the gentle melody - very sweet and refreshing!
Sarah Copus is an exceptional new talent, and it will exciting to see how she evolves as a musician. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is available from 2002Music.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
~ Candice Michelle - Journeyscapes
Celtic Fairy Lullaby is the follow-up to 2002’s landmark album Trail of Dreams, and once again showcases the angelic voice of Sarah Copus (daughter of 2002 husband and wife team Randy and Pamela Copus). While many listeners could easily mistake this for Enya, 2002 have their own signature sound, although similarities to the Irish singer are probably more pronounced than ever given the Celtic bent of this album, with lyrics sung in Gaelic, Welsh and English. Pure magnificent beauty seems to be the primary objective of 2002’s music, for every track on the album sparkles and shines. A pristine arrangement of both electronic and acoustic instruments is present here, with Randy on keyboards, piano, bass and guitar, and Pamela on flute and harp. Sarah provides both lead and back-up vocals as well as additional harp.
The old Irish lullaby “Seoithín Seo Hó / Gartan Mother’s Lullaby” opens the album like the soundtrack to a fairytale, with chorale washes, sweeping chimes and a cinematic quality that defines much of the music throughout. The overall sound is at once light and sweet yet richly majestic. “Cariad”, meaning “darling” in Welsh, is a beautiful ballad as well as perhaps my favorite song on the album. Led by gentle harp and vocals that are complimented by exquisite harmonizing, the piece conveys a hazy, mysterious quality. Two instrumental tracks are present on the album, of which include “Éamonn an Chnoic”, a piece based on a Robin Hood type figure of Irish history, along with the soothingly tranquil “My Singing Bird”. The album perfectly concludes with a traditional Irish song sung on May Day titled “Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn”, albeit presented in 2002’s signature style, of course.
Celtic Fairy Lullaby just might be 2002’s most impressive accomplishment to date. While even the most ethereal of Celtic music tends to retain a certain folksy, earthy quality, 2002 essentially stays in their airier element while lulling its listeners into a magical, dreamlike world of beauty and innocence.
RJ Lannan ~ Zone Music Reporter
Close Your Eyes
So let me set the stage. Close your eyes. Really. Imagine a deep, lush green forest. A mist is in the air. Twilight is upon you. Now bend down and look under the piney bough. You’ll see a tiny, round hut made of sticks. Peer inside the window and you will see all the fairies getting ready to put their fairy babies to bed. So they call upon their best and sweetest amhránaí. The fairy singer, Sarah. Now play the music.
Although the New Age band 2002 has been making exceptional music for more than two decades, it is only recently that they added the talents of their singer and multi-instrumentalist daughter, Sarah. There is no doubt that the inspiration for much of their music is now the star of the show. Celtic Fairy Lullaby is twelve delicately sweet tracks of music that will soothe the soul of anyone, size notwithstanding.
The album opens with the doublet Seoithín Seo Hó (Hushaby, Hush)/ Gartan’s Mother Lullaby. Right away we get a sense of the sweetness of Sarah’s baby soft voice as she sings the flowing tune. Ironically, Seoithín Seo Hó is a plea to the fairies to allow the baby to sleep and not take her away to the fairy lands. Gartan’s Mother Lullaby is also in part plea for safe keeping.
Cariad had such a yearning tone to it, it was almost heartbreaking. That is the beauty of voice as an instrument. Cariad is Gaelic for Beloved and the song is an impressive melody to tell yours that you love them and you will protect them forever. This was one of many favorites.
Even little people need stories of adventure. Take for instance the tale of Ned from the Hills, an Irish bandit that lived the life of a Robinhood in County Tipperary. Expressed with harp, gentle strings and Sarah’s seraphic rendition, Eamonn an Chnoic is the bold story of Ned who turned on the British and foiled them night after night in daring robberies and such. Everyone needs heroes.
I actually remember my mother singing Ar Hyd y Nos to my baby sister when we were young. I remember it as “All Through the Night, and what a satisfying memory it is for me. Losing a parent when you are a child is devastating, but having such a wonderful recollection reminds me that she is always with me.
Perhaps your life is charmed when you have a goddess on your side. Bonnie Prince Charlie, a heroic figure of the 18th century who was much maligned, but true to his nobility had the goddess Éire praying for his return in the song Mo Ghile Mear (My Gallant Darling). A dramatic flourish of cymbals and strings emboldens the tune, making it a remarkable ballad. Sarah’s’ voice comes out of the misty hills of Scotland to tell the tale of this European soldier/poet.
The album closes with the incredibly soothing tune, Thugamar Féin an Samhradh Linn (We Brought the Summer With Us) Sarah has a sound that is timidly dulcet as she sings about the celebration on the first day of summer. There are lines about fertility and growth and such, but also a plea for the fairies who walk upon the earth to be kind.
Most of the music on the album is dreamy harp, guitar and strings that has a warm, fantasy quality to it that is enchanting, but that is to be expected considering the overall theme. Of the dozen tunes on Celtic Fairy Lullaby, two are sumptuous instrumentals, but vocals are definitely the showcase on this New Age recording. It does not take a Delphic oracle to see that 2002 (Randy and Pamela Copus) has ascended a musical plateau with the addition of Sarah Copus as lead vocalist. The view at the top must be spectacular for all. I can see that the candle burns low, the fairy babies are all asleep, and so I bid you a fair and goodnight.
Michael Diamond – Music and Media Focus
"Celtic Fairy Lullaby is the eagerly awaited new release from the award-winning group 2002, one of the world’s premier new age music ensembles. While husband and wife Randy and Pamela Copus have produced many albums as a duo, their last few releases have featured their daughter Sarah in supporting roles. Now at the age of 11, Sarah, who is truly a rising star, shines in the spotlight as the lead vocalist, as well as on harp, in this enchanting collection of soothing ancient melodies. As always, the album’s production is superb; enhancing the lush soundscapes the group is so well known for. Fans of Enya, Loreena Mckennitt, and Clannad will find a lot to like in the magical music of Celtic Fairy Lullaby."