tempus vernum?




Bet you won't see this Irish chick reviewed on Satan Stole My Teddybear. I laugh in your face, John Chedsey!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Actually, I'm not familiar with that site. I'm surprised I even know who runs it. Silly metalheads, Trixter's for kids!

review index: The Celts / Watermark / Shepherd Moons / A Day Without Rain

missing albums: The Memory of Trees

apex: A Day Without Rain
nadir: Watermark
overlooked: The Celts

The Celts - 1987

Rating: ***
Best songs: The Celts, Aldebaran, I Want Tomorrow, Boadicea
Worst songs: err...uh...some...kinda...stuff...


One thing that must be stated in particular before delving into these albums is that this is pussy music. If you like um... guitars and stuff, then you'll most likely hate this. You've surely heard her hit singles "Only Time" and "Orinoco Flow" -- that's how it all sounds, fluffy, puffy, lighter-than-air, whatever you want to call it. Just don't expect much in the "diversity" category.

Moving on: This was Enya's first album (a soundtrack to some documentary), released before the massive success of the next one. Of course, since this was a soundtrack album, there's going to be some inevitable filler-type material -- several of the tracks stuffed in the middle just float on by the listener without leaving a lasting mark or even a tip. Stingy bastards. Neverthewhatever, there are several choice cuts on here: the creepy, minimalist "I Want Tomorrow" and "Boadicea" and blippy synth thing "Aldebaran" are great atmosphere pieces, and the title track/theme song/whatever boasts a great sing-songy melody. "Fairytale" has some neat lullabye-ish electric piano, "Bard Dance" is indeed a little dance tune (in a medieval, Celtic sort of fashion), and the rest...hmmm...well, the rest is okay. There's a track called "Epona", I like that one -- but wasn't that the name of the horse in the Legend of Zelda game for N64? Can't those Nintendo people come up with anything that's not derived from some mythological source? Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

Wooh, Nirvana reference in an Enya review!!

Watermark - 1988

Rating: **1/2
Best songs: Watermark, Curzum Perticio, Storms in Africa, Orinoco Flow
Worst songs: whblrjkfjnffffrreliajlsjdkdmcmbgg


Big breakthrough here, with the hit single "Orinoco Flow", featured on those television commercials for some tropical paradise vacation cruise thing. Really. Anyway, it's the same problem again: FILLAH! (filler) The album has three or four really good parts on it, padded out with a bunch of airy-fairy fluffball unmemorable stuff. The piano instrumental title track and some more freaky latiney chanting is good, but the real issue here is: what's with the cover art? Man, that chick looks freaky! Whatever, skip.

Shepherd Moons - 1991

Rating: **1/2
Best songs: Caribbean Blue, Book of Days
Worst songs: Smaointe, Shepherd Moons


Aigh. Erk. Ugh. You're going overboard on the mushy la-la uninteresting atmosphere pieces, Enya. The obligatory piano noodle/title track doesn't have anything going for it. The album just falls to bits at the end -- the last two songs take up ten minutes, and neither of them suggest any reason as to why they exist in this modern hi-tech world.

Not a total loss, howe'er, considering there are a few moments of Enya loveliness: "Caribbean Blue" and "Book of Days" qualify, mostly because they're the two songs I'm most familiar with from the greatest hits album I heard before all this other stuff. "Evacuee" is kinda pretty, and it features an actual instrument (cornet) in addition to the shiny happy keyboards holding...keys? MIDI ports?

Note to self: in the future, think through R.E.M. references before using them.

The rest is...well...not bad. Unfortunately the cover freaks me out again -- for some reason she reminds me of a French teacher. I wonder what that says about my psyche. Actually, I don't really want to know, so never mind.

A Day Without Rain - 2000

Rating: ***1/2
Best songs: Wild Child, A Day Without Rain, Only Time, Fallen Embers
Worst songs: no


The point I've been trying to make throughout these thoroughly lame reviews is thus: Enya is not stylistically diverse. Every album of hers utilizes the same base elements to create the, uh, same mood during the whole thing. So it all comes down to this: which album does the Enya thing most efficiently? That is, without a bunch of boring filler tunes? Answer:


You see, this album is a mere 34 minutes long, and contains all the requisite Enya archetypes: hazy synth string ballady stuff ("Only Time", which you've probably heard six million times if your place of work has the adult contemporary station on, though the song is about .00000000000000000000013 times as annoying as that "Hero" song by Enrique Iglesias -- that has to be the most sickeningly melodramatic song I've ever had to sit through, and of course I heard it every goddamned day at work), plinky pizzicato synth string happy funtime stuff ("Wild Child", "Flora's Secret"), and of course creepy latiney thudding synth stringosity ("Tempus Vernum", unfortunately not containing a wild bassline like it should), and so on. My point is this: if you want to listen to Enya, you should probably just get this recording. Which kind of removes the point of my reviewing the others, but it's not like I put any thought into it.

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