Cover: The Memory of Trees


Gaelic Glimmer Amid The Drone

Hartford Courant (USA) 7 December 1995

Technology is not on the side of Enya Bhraonain, the Irish empress of Celtic atmospherics and sometime member of Irish supergroup, Clannad.

The novelty of the syntho-druid sound made famous by her family (two brothers, two uncles and a sister make up Clannad) is wearing off. Habituated to the echoic droning and multi-track choirs, we listed for that which is musically interesting.

On The Memory of Trees -- her first solo effort in four years -- we must wade through a lot of irrelevant electronic goo to find worthwhile music and to hear Enya's wonderful voice. The title track, for example, sounds like warmed-over Vangelis.

'Hope Has a Place' and 'Tea-House Moon' are two other non-starters. The best of this disc are: the intriguing (and not terribly over-produced) 'Anywhere Is'; the Gregorian-influenced chant 'Pax Deorum' (talk about your Latin beat); the Gaelic 'Athair Ar Neamh'; and the anthem, 'China Roses'. The spare piano rendering of the simple 'From Where I Am' is a pleasant surprise.

We do not expect Enya to do an MTV Unplugged session, but we think she - and her family - would do well to return, at least occasionally, to the raw acoustic sound they began with in her father's pub in rural Meenaleck.

Note: Transcribed by Samuel T Cuscovitch and posted to on December 7, 1995.