Music Review: Dark Sky Island/Enya (Warner Bros/Warner Music) Release date: November 20, 2015

By: Cathy Rockwell

It has been seven years since the Irish singer-songwriter has released a studio album, but Enya’s long awaited studio album was worth the wait. The enchanting voice from the Emerald Isle continues to take fans on a universal journey that brings them to places they could only imagine.

It takes a special kind of talent to capture what the genre of World Music truly is and Enya has successfully done that for years. It’s not only her lyrics, it’s the music that tells the story as well. Dark Sky Island is a new adventure that brings a new world and new stories to her fans.

The first song of the album is “The Humming” – a haunting and somber tune that takes you to the dark and mysterious sea, metaphorically speaking. It’s the perfect opening track as it has a meditative sound that Enya seems to always create, which is one of the many ways she is so unique.

The second track, “So I Could Find My Way,” sounds like an acoustic lullaby slow waltz whose end result is pure tranquility.

“Even in the Shadows” seems to be a newer sound for Enya. The beat is a bit faster and stronger than usual, which is refreshing.

“The Forge of the Angels” is a hypnotic tune with an angelic fleet of winged spiritual beings chanting. There are no words, just peaceful syllables.

“Echoes in Rain” is definitely what you should hear on the radio. It is a true Enya classic sound, accompanied with a marching rhythm and a climatic beautiful piano piece with the chorus ringing out, “Allueluia, alle-alle-alleluia.”

The next track, “I Could Never Say Goodbye,” is an emotional and heartfelt ballad. Whether or not someone is saying goodbye in a relationship or in death, the words are beautifully written.

“Dark Sky Island,” the title-track from the album, sounds like purely enchanting Celtic romance music.

“Sancta Maria” mixes hymns with synthesizers for a sound that can best be described as Latin New Age.

“Astra Et Luna” (which means “The Stars and Moon”) starts off as a slow classical piece, then increases the tempo. Enya’s vocal range is quite vast, as evidenced by this song.

The hidden gem of the album is arguably “The Loxian Gates.” With a soft native drum beat, it sounds like something that might be featured on the Starz television series, Outlander.  The song, in fact, has an interesting story behind it. It is about a futuristic tale about a special group of Celts who became the Loxian people.

“The Forge of Angels,” the title of another song mentioned prior, is the name of their spaceship and “The Loxian Gates” surrounds the planet. The song is a tribute and reminder of the beauty of the seasons of the earth that the Loxian people left behind. It is a reminder that life should be appreciated as it is lived during its journey as well as its destination (Lyricist, Roma Ryan invented the Loxian’s own language).

The final track on the album.“Diamonds in the Water,” is a mesmerizing and serene song that concludes the peaceful musical journey.  In addition, there is a deluxe version that contains bonus tracks; “Solace,” “Pale Grass Blue” and “Remember Your Smile.”

Enya’s new album does not disappoint. Although, some may argue it sounds like her previous work, most fans may argue back that she stays true to her music genre and continues to evolve. There are new sounds if you listen keenly, a new journey and as always, a new story.

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