Enya Album - Amarantine
|Album Information :|
Label:Warner Classics UK
Review - Product Description :
The first album in five years from Enya follows the biggest-selling album of her illustrious career, the six-times platinum A Day Without Rain, which transcended all commercial expectations. Having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, Enya is one of the most successful female artists of all time and second only to U2 as the biggest selling Irish artist in history. Warner. 2005.
380 of 424 people found the following review helpful:
- ...rhymes with "Honor On Time." :o)
Lord, I can hear the cynics & naysayers now...they are gonna LOVE this one. But we'll get to that (briefly) later.
For those of us who knew what quality music was way back in 1986, we suspected upon hearing THE CELTS that a new & vital talent had been sprung upon the world, and with each successive CD, Enya has proven one thing repeatedly: When you find a formula that works, sticking with it is usually a wise thing to cement a devoted fan base. For me, several elements fell together that held me spellbound from the moment I heard my first Enya track (Boadicea) on a radio program called Music from the Hearts of Space: Beautiful use of electronic keyboards. Beautiful songs varying in nature from upbeat ditties to the most heartbreakingly haunting ballads. And, of course, that beautiful, angelic voice, used as a solo instrument unto itself and multi-tracked into the most heavenly of choirs...I'd never heard an artist use her voice in that manner since the days of Jon Anderson, both as a vocalist with Yes and a collaborator with Vangelis. That formula, probably to no one's surprise, thrives and survives on Amarantine. To be honest and fair, the previously alluded-to cynics & naysayers will sigh and say, "...just another Enya disc." Let them say what they will. Dedicated Enya fans such as myself will, I am certain, LOVE this new recording and sing its praises for years to come.
The opening track, Less Than A Pearl, is a classic opening Enya track, with a majestic chorus of "Ahhh's" that will have you singing along with her immediately. The title piece: there's the hit single formula again, with the pizzicato electronic strings and the typical light melody--sure to be another in her string of hits & instantly likeable. It's In The Rain: a wistful waltz-tempo piece that does, indeed, sound as if it could have come from her previous disc. If I Could Be Where You Are: the first of the meditative ballads we've come to love (a la "On Your Shore") wherein she sings of missing her loved one terribly. This, speaking for myself, is the main thing I've come to love Enya's music for...her unique gift of balladry. The River Sings is an uptempo track with percussion that lifts us from the pangs of the previous track into realms of joy & spiritual bliss. Long Long Journey: A midtempo song reminding us of the pain of being away from all we know and love coupled with the certain optimism of knowing we'll be home soon...somewhere we've all been. Sumiregusa (Wild Violet): Enya's first excursion into Japanese poetry and a truly beautiful meditation in every way possible. Someone Said Goodbye: This is turning into one of my favorite tracks so far, and I'm guessing it could be her second single. It has a relaxing, almost swing tempo to it in a lighthearted-approach that belies yet another exploration of the sadness & complications involved in loving another human being. A Moment Lost: Another ballad telling of the regrets involved in the ending of a relationship, taking the not-very-often approached path of showing admiration for the now former object of our affection ("How strong, how brave, how true of you to bear the hurt I gave. I know it tears your heart in two; all I've said, all I say to you.") Wow. Drifting: One of Enya's classic instrumentals, sad & wistful with the addition of some nice cello sounds to round out the piano & synths...could have served as the opening track to the CD as well. Amid The Falling Snow: A reminiscence of childhood, gazing out the window and watching the beauty of a silent snowfall, this track could pass as a nice addition to a Christmas collection as well. Very nice. And finally, Water Shows The Hidden Heart: A fitting closing piece, in slow waltz-tempo, & one of 3 tracks in which Enya sings in Roma Ryan's "Loxian" language from her book of the same title. Very pleasant sounding language it is, too. It's nice to hear Enya cascading her voices one over the other toward the final section of the song, too, giving it a madrigal, chamber choir-type of atmosphere & bringing the CD to a soft, understated & yet confident-feeling conclusion.
Yes, the musical purists will berate this as just another Enya recording...but it bears repeating: For those of us who love her music, WHO CARES? Speaking for myself, I like this a little better than A DAY WITHOUT RAIN, and it's nice to see it clocking in at longer than that previous recording as well (45:34). I'm not insensitive to others' criticisms of Enya's formula--I, too, would like to see her try other things, since it's obvious she has talent coming out of her fingertips. Maybe a duet album with her sister Maire of Clannad. Maybe a recording wherein she employs a traditional band of guitar, bass & drums. Maybe a recording of her strictly unplugged...perhaps with piano, flute, acoustic guitar, harp (are you reading this, Andreas?), and her single voice. A live in concert CD and DVD, which I'm certain most of us have been clamoring for for years (Enya has spoken of touring in the past, but so far this hasn't materialized). Maybe a collaboration with other new age luminaries like Vangelis or Andreas Vollenweider. The possibilities are endless. But wherever Enya chooses to take her life and career, as long as she holds onto her indomitable spirit (especially in light of recent traumas she's been through involving deranged fans) and her obvious love for the music she creates, she will always have a place in the pantheon of musicians who make what we all know to be quality new age music. Her songs continue to have the healing Balm of Gilead effect on most who hear her music, and in an age of increasing tension and violence in a world with a tenuous future, we can be thankful for that. There will never be such a thing as The Perfect Musician, but I feel safe in saying that Enya strives for that perfection in every way possible and to the best of her ability. The bottom line: All Enya fans will love this stunning new CD. Those new to Enya's music may feel comfortable using this CD as a springboard and then explore her other releases eventually. She has yet to put out a "bad" album, and I don't see that ever happening at any point in her future. Carry on, Enya...you're doing fine, and we're glad to be along for the ride.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful:
- Her best since "Shepherd Moons"
I'm one of Enya's dedicated fans, but it doesn't mean that everyhing she does is automatically fantastic and superb in my ears. I could be critical towards her if there would be a reason, but fortunately, there hasn't been reason yet. "The Memory of Trees" was a bit of a let-down for me, but still a good record.
And so it's her 6th one, "Amarantine". Actually I consider it to be one her Top 3, only "Watermark" and "Shepherd Moons" ahead. So all of these negative reviews here from 'the dedicated fans' have amazed me. It seems that there are two different "Amarantine" copies in circulation, because it's beyond my comprehension how anyone can give this record a one star and still love Enya's previous works.
Enya is enya, she's doing music which has her character all over it. If she would change her style, that would not be Enya anymore. And what kind of changes in her style she is supposed to make? A country record perhaps? Or techno? Please... Those who find her repetitive, I think it's a bit too late to say it after the 6th album. I would have stopped listening her ten years ago, and not bothered to try her albums anymore.
And this album is no way "A Day Without Rain part II". Many things have changed from that record. There is only one instrumental this time, when others had three. There is no Latin, but Japanese and Loxian, a totally new language created by a lyricist Roma Ryan. All songs Enya sang by Loxian are quite different in styles than on "A Day Without Rain". "Less Than a Pearl" could have been on "The Celts" album, "The River Sings" is a bit like "Ebudae" from "Shepherd Moons". "Water Shows the Hidden Heart" is one of Enya's finest moments in her whole career. I think she has not made anything similar before. It's like an aria from Puccini's opera with some church music feeling. Enya's voice is also more prominent this time and sounds lovelier than ever.
If you are an Enya-devotee, I think you are aware of the fact that everyone of her album's has its own mood and color. The fact that each of her albums has their own admirers, tells that she has no weak records in her catalogue. You may not like each of them equally, but that's just a matter of taste. "Amarantine" is not going to be everone's favorite Enya album, but the fact is that it's just as enjoyable as the rest of them. There is no-one quite like Enya, and let's be happy that she's giving us something unique from her music. The gaps between her records may be long, but remember that it takes a long time to make an Enya-album. And that time is always worth waiting for, and this time is no exception.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Sometimes it's good to wait a while before buying & reviewing a CD. I downloaded the album prior to purchasing it, only because I wanted to see if Enya's comeback was as good as the reviews said. I'm proud to say...yes, it is a fantastic comeback and has totally outdone 'A Day without Rain'. 'Amarantine' is a gorgeous soundscape of liquid, flowing melody & rich vocals, making it one of Enya's best recordings. I put it right up there with 'Watermark' and 'Shepherd Moons'. Each song pulled me deeper into the album until I finally said "okay, I gotta go buy it"...and thats' what I did today. What a lovely pre-Christmas gift!
With its colorful & stunning artwork, 'Amarantine' captures the listener's eyes, ears, heart and soul. All you have to do is look in Enya's pretty, ageless face and you feel her inspiration talents taking their toll on your soul. In the past 5 years, I've come to appreciate New Age & Celtic music even more than before, because of inspirational recordings such as 'Amarantine', as a whole. 'It's In The Rain' is a standout track, flowing with Enya's rich, "singing" voice...which I've not heard much of before. And no, Enya does NOT sound like Dolores O'Riordan in this song. Enya's voice is elegant and smooth. Normally, Enya vocalizes more, becoming part of background music itself. But this time, each song pops with lively vocals.
Of course, none of this could be possible without Nicky Ryan's production genius. Together, over the years, both Enya and Nicky only get better, although 'Memory of Trees' was shorter & less "alive". 'Amarantine' makes up for that loss. I love the bell and the little things which make up the CD as a whole. There isn't a dry, boring song on the album at all. I don't care what the 3 and 4 star reviewers have to say. Enya hasn't lost her touch and she'll continue writing beautiful music like always. Although the album is 46 minutes long, it's still packed with a long journey of melody and talent.
The artwork is pretty and simple. Inside the liner notes booklet, you'll find a Loxian passage on the innner front cover. There are 2 lovely photos of Enya, small but elegant, as always. The CD itself is blood red, contrasting with the solid white background & hint of blood red, continuing from Enya's red gown on the front cover. One thing I'd like to know...is there a digipack edition out there? Or is there one to come, eventually? I bet it would look super! Buy 'Amarantine' because you won't regret owning it. All the music will grow on you, if you don't fall in love with it upon the first listen. Makes a great Christmas gift!
01> Less Than A Pearl - 3:44
02> Amarantine - 3:12
03> It's In The Rain - 4:08
04> If I Could Be Where You Are - 4:00
05> The River Sings - 2:49
06> Long Long Journey - 3:17
07> Sumiregusa - 4:42
08> Someone Said Goodbye - 4:02
09> A Moment Lost - 3:08
10> Drifting - 4:11
11> Amid The Falling Snow - 3:38
12> Water Shows The Hidden Heart - 4:39
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Before I review Enya's CD, I'd like to wholeheartedly recommend Caroline Peyton's "Celtic Christmas Spirit" as a wonderful companion to any Enya CD. Peyton's vocals are as sweet and soaring as Enya's (they sound like sisters) and the songs on "Celtic Christma Spirit" are stunning--masterfully produced--and many are unique. It is by far my most favorite Christmas CD and any Enya fan will immediately fall in love with it.
There are few artists whose songs I can listen to repeatedly and not get tired of them. Enya is one. I've grown accustomed to enjoying every song on every CD and have marveled at her ability to create such a unique, heavenly, awe-inspiring sound. This new CD has many moments of beauty and grandeur but fewer than I had hoped. Some tracks are just a tad...monotonous. I nonetheless still enjoy them but find myself waiting for several of the songs to move in some stunning direction and...they don't quite get there. I've listened to the CD about ten times now and I must admit it grows on me with each listen. But I'm used to Enya's songs captivating me from the first listen--an incredible expectation, I know. My favorite song is the final one, "Water Shows the Hidden Heart." It is like a prayer, a rich, evocative, prayer. Her instrumental, "Drifting", is also quite powerful. "If I Could Be Where You Are" is very wistful, quiet, much like "May It Be," and quite beautiful. So many of the other melodies are catchy in their own way and one feels good listening to them but don't seem to reach the heights Enya songs usually do. SHe has simply set the bar too high, perhaps even for herself tomatch each time. I'm hoping over time I will find all the tracks to be pure gold, as has been the case in the past. But for now, I wait. I enjoy the CD, marvel at some of the tracks, and wait for the rest of them to measure up to the amazing standard Enya has set--and surpassed--so many times before.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
- Another great addition...
"Amarantine" is exactly why I continue to purchase Enya CDs. The CD contains haunting ballads about love, longing, and loss, a deep instrumental, and nicely tucked in the middle, a fun, rousing Celtic tune as one could only expect from Enya. The imagery her music evokes is charming. My only complaint is that the CD is relatively short at just over 45 minutes but that's why I have all her other works. A great addition to my collection. If you love Enya's music, you'll love "Amarantine." Beautiful music, beautifully done. Bravo!