Album cover: And Winter Came


Enya - And Winter Came..

Chua Chern Toong

Malaysia Star, Dec. 15, 2008

This latest offering from veteran Irish new-age chanteuse Enya purports to be a seasonal-themed album, but in actuality, ends up as being another generic Enya album, with all her usual musical trademarks. On And Winter Came, the core, long-time triumvirate of Enya, lyricist Roma Ryan and producer Nicky Ryan mine the selfsame formula they perfected since that first album way back in 1986.

This means an abundance of seemingly stately but dated-sounding harpsichord arpeggios, layer upon layer of soft-focus, shimmering synth orchestrations, and most of all, a copious amount of lush, multi-tracked vocal harmonies.

There is almost nothing markedly different to distinguish one selection from another on And Winter Came, which comprises mostly Enya originals, rounded out by a handful of traditional carols.

Tracks like Journey of the Angels, White is in the Winter Night and Trains and Winter Rains are self-explanatory, with the titles effectively evoking the tones and dispositions of the songs.

However, credit has to be given to Enya for breaking the overall somnambulant mood (ever so slightly) on My My Time Flies, ostensibly presented as a mid-tempo, Beatle-esque pop nugget, but given that distinctive Enya touch by the inclusion of the customary choral harmonies.

At most, And Winter Came will strike all the right chords with devoted followers of Enya, although too much of this sort of drowsy, insomnia-curing new-age stuff does get rather monotonous after a while.

This is practically the musical equivalent of Quaaludes, and although fans would disagree with that assessment, repeated listenings do lull listeners into a state of contented, lackadaisical well-being. As inoffensive as a pinecone-scented candle, this is exactly the sort of non-intrusive, watered-down muzak that you'll find playing in branches of The Body Shop everywhere.

Note: Transcribed by Book of Days.