Album cover: Watermark

 

Enya - "The Celts" (Reissue)

Cathy Maestri

The Press-Enterprise (USA) 2 July 1995

The Celts is actually a repackaged re-release of a soundtrack Enya did for BBC series in 1986. She was asked to contribute a couple of songs, and producers were so enchanted they her asked to do the whole thing.

It's easy to see why. The album is gently, chillingly beautiful.

There's a bit more of a mystic, New Age feel (synthesizers) than on her blockbuster Watermark and Shepherd Moons records but if you like the feeling of those, you'll treasure The Celts

It's her grand warmup, and soundtracks proved to be the perfect place for her very specific sound to develop. 

The only straightforward track in English is "I Want Tomorrow" - the rest are chiefly instrumentals or sung in Celtic tongues. The title track is a gentle gallop and "The Sun in the Stream" is a showcase for some pretty uillean piping by Liam Og O'Flionn, with just a shadow of vocals toward the end. 

"To Go Beyond (I)" turns the simplest of sounds into something gorgeous; "Fairytale" is a magical turn on what sounds like a carousel organ; gorgeous layers of humming and vocalizations weave throughout "Triad: St. Patrick, Cu Chulainn, Oisin" and the chantlike "Boadicea." 

The Reprise version (the album's original domestic release was on Atlantic) has been remastered, but the only real sonic change is a re-recording of the shy piano instrumental "Portrait (Out of the Blue)." Warner has done a nice job of packaging - there are luminous photos and Enya and lyricist Roma Ryan provide explanations, inspirations and insights.



Note: Transcribed by Edelmiro García.