Just as you can travel the world to find paradise is at your front door, so too can you trawl shops and sites in the hope of discovering a great record only to find that it's also closer to home. A striking album, 'Mütter' deserves to bring Maria Doyle Kennedy a lot of attention and new fans both here and further afield.

Made on-and-off over four years, but sounding like its the product of a series of consecutive long nights, it's a record brimming with dark energy and allure and one which never falters in its intensity.

Resisting the vamp pitfall which can be at the centre of such music, Doyle Kennedy chooses instead to mix wisdom, poignancy and defiance together but never resorts to over-dramatics or instrument bashing. The arrangements are beautiful and throughout there's an intimacy that modern recordings can often destroy.

Maria Doyle Kennedy has been making music now for 25 years and it's a joy to hear someone who still has such interesting things to say and such a way of saying them. Sons and daughters, there's something here for all of you.

Harry Guerin