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World Music CD Reviews Celtic & Irish

Enya

By Doug Merlino
Published December 15, 2006

Amarantine
Reprise

Amarantine, Enya’s first album in five years, picks up where she left off on A Day Without Rain, lush beds of orchestral pads and strings swelling and ebbing under the Irish singer’s mellifluous vocals. The most intriguing songs here are the three in the invented, Celtic-tinged Loxian language. While Enya’s English lyrics tend toward the anodyne— “Listen to the rain, here it comes again”—Loxian lends a mystical, timeless edge to her voice: “Less Than A Pearl” opens the album on a sublime note, with subdued verses contrasting against a surging chorus; “The River Sings,” with Enya’s voice multi-tracked over a pulsing beat, achieves a powerful momentum; “Water Shows The Hidden Heart,” the album closer, has a contemplative, almost sorrowful feel. Other songs find Enya tackling familiar subjects like love’s endurance, falling snow, long journeys through the darkness and the mysterious ways of nature. On “Listen To The Rain,” producer Nicky Ryan tones down the orchestral touches, lending the song a straightforward quality not heard elsewhere on the album. There are no surprises here, but Enya fans will find plenty to like.