The California Aggie (online) 8 December 2005
The empress of ethereal new age is back with her first release in five years. Think Enya's music should stay at the spa? Tie up your high horse and give her new album a listen.
Amarantine opens with nearly liquid incantations that build up to something like an angelic fanfare announcing her return before segueing into the waltz-like title track, whose gracefully repetitive chorus envelops the listener in a haunting comfort.
"It's in the Rain" is masterfully layered with keyboard and string effects to mimic the sound of falling raindrops, and one can almost visualize a dim afternoon sun emanating from a wall of gray clouds.
The album's songs wield the fragility and energy typical of Enya's style, but some tracks fail to stand out, including "Less Than a Pearl," "The River Sings" and "Water Shows the Hidden Heart." The lyrics' unearthly fluidity in these three songs matches that of J.R.R. Tolkien's elvish.
Turns out Enya did her homework - the lyrics are in Loxian, a futuristic, alien language she created for these pieces because she felt English, Gaelic and Latin were too percussive. Fans of her work with The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring might especially like these songs, as she claims it inspired her to create the language.Listeners should not be discouraged by some of the album's unimpressive, lengthy intros; the album's tracks eventually develop beautifully. Those who found themselves enraptured with her previous work can expect more of the same. Cranberries fans and genetics majors might consider adding Amarantine to their collections. Still can't get Liv Tyler's sultry, elven conjurations out of your head? You might want to listen to this one in private.
Notes: Transcribed by Book of Days