There should be a rule against including both “Amazing Grace” and “Auld Lang Syne” on any album—either one would be almost unbearable, but having to sit through both songs rendered on ploddingly whining bagpipes is a refined form of musical torture.
Although the album is called “Scottish Moods,” I think it would be more accurate to call it “Scottish Mood,” because I can only detect a consistent melancholia in the seventeen selections included on this album. In fact, while I admit that I don’t know a lot of Scots, it seems to me that the Scottish must have moods—and music—that transcend what is represented here, so it may not even be very fair to retain “Scottish” in the title. Scots don’t struck me as necessarily glum and may even enjoy a bit of a jig from time to time.
It isn’t the ever-present bagpipe that sinks Scottish Moods but, rather, the swelling background music and vocals that evoke both the smiling and well-coiffed women of Lawrence Welk and the worst of new age instrumental music. The trite song choices are merely the final nail in the coffin, chasing away all but the most stalwart bagpipe fans (and perhaps even proving too much for even these last potential supporters).
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/munros-scottish/