Great Big Sea is a Canadian institution that has spread the Newfie Celtic cause all the way to the West Coast, where they routinely sell out clubs to the happy drinking crowd.

This time, however, there is more than a passing resemblance here to a pop album, with the inclusion of songs on which there's no trace of a fiddle or bodhran.

Their single Walk On the Moon is proof enough that something is off in the henhouse. There's a grand piano, for one thing, and an orchestrated arrangement courtesy of flamboyant pop singer and producer Hawksley Workman (Tegan and Sara), who's kind of like the fox who got into the henhouse. It's also a far cry from their last album, The Hard and the Easy, which was all traditionals, and still sold well for the band.

Of course, there are the usual board-stompers like Dance Dance, so fans won't be completely confused by their decided adventure. It's all refreshing, especially to hear Doyle sing with a soothing earnestness befitting a pop singer — and overall, the rhythm is spirited enough to keep the party in gear, even if it's not always a stomping one.


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