Album cover: Amarantine


Enya: Amarantine

John Wirt

The (online) 16 December 2005

Enya, Irish singer-songwriter and one-woman orchestra, released an album called A Day Without Rain in 2000. A particularly consoling song from the disc, Only Time, ended up in a movie about a dying young woman starring Charlize Theron, Sweet November, even before it became a soundtrack for reports about the terrorist attacks that struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

Enya's arresting cathedral-choral pop songs also showed up in the Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman movie, Far and Away, The Lord of the Rings -- The Fellowship of the Ring and probably many other places. She continues her cinematic mix of the mystic and the grand with Amarantine, her first album since A Day Without Rain.

Two years in the making, Amarantine often sounds belabored. Enya and long-time lyricist Roma Ryan have lost the ear-catching freshness of the singer's career. But there is poignancy in "If I Could Be Where You Are," a song of separation reflective of the Irish diaspora, and hope in the bittersweet homecoming song, "Long Long Journey."

But bright moments are in short supply on Amarantine, and the regret-filled "A Moment Lost" is more typical of the disc. And Enya's glacial tempos and keyboard-produced faux orchestras can grow ponderous, plus she simply sounds less interested than usual. Which means the latest Enya opus may be more for the Enya faithful, of which there are millions, than the vast movie and TV audience that learned of this misty Irish chanteuse only through tragedy.

John Wirt

Notes: Transcribed by Book of Days