A Day Without Rain
The Dallas Morning News (USA) 19 November 2000
Enya's latest CD another piece of heaven
For Enya, beauty lies in the honesty and simplicity of music as a healing salve. Each of the Irish singer-composer's albums reveled in songs characterized by an ethereal warmth that fits her soft soprano and her signature multi-layering studio technique.
A Day Without Rain,' Enya's first collection of new material since 1995's The Memory of Trees,' is another lovely piece of work from the meticulously artful chanteuse. This CD, like the others, finds Enya singing all the lead and harmony vocals -- which she stacks in the recording process -- and playing all the instruments with help from producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan.
The process is painstaking, as one can imagine. This is why Enya is not a prolific artist. In the 12 years since her 1988 breakthrough, Watermark, Enya has released two albums, including the stunning 1991 opus, Shepherd Moons.'
But, oh, the results are worth the wait. A Day Without Rain' opens with the title cut, an instrumental that begins with an elegant piano melody and gradually adds embellishments before it ends with a soothing array of strings. The song, which marked the start of the disc's creative process, came to Enya on a sunny day after a long bout of rain in Ireland. Musically, it sounds like the calm of night giving way to the bustle of the day.
The rest of the record has that dark-to-light, chaos-to-peace progression. A gloomy, tempestuous track with ominous symphonic sweeps titled "Tempus Vernum,'' eventually leads the listener to the waltz-like "Flora's Secret,'' the solemn "Fallen Embers'' (a rare song where Enya sings sans lush vocal layers) and finally, the buoyant, lilting "One by One.''
And, almost out of nowhere, A Day Without Rain' ends with "Lazy Days,'' an engulfing pop song filled with swooshing flourishes that one-ups the hooky, wall-of-sound pull of singles such as "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)'' and "Caribbean Blue.'' Even this new album's first single, the sweet "Only Time,'' doesn't compare when it comes to sheer melodic grandeur.
It's all quintessential Enya. In today's world of teen pop frothiness, rock-rap angst, metal aggression and rap grittiness, her soothing music interludes seem like some sort of otherworldly concoction.
It is, however, very earthly. Enya deserves credit for not only spearheading the new age movement -- and becoming its flagship artist -- but also for carving a career that could never have been manipulated by major-label executives. That her mature brand of music has found a loyal and patient audience is a testament to the rejuvenating power of those dreamy notes.
Note: Transcribed by Troman.