Taliesin Orchestra

Thread of Time: The Best of the Music of Enya

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Having visited the music of Enya twice in symphonic versions, it's time for the Taliesin Orchestra to release a best-of from those two discs. Does it smack a little of commercialization? Well yes, but that's what makes the world go round. And the ultimate question is whether the music's any good. That one you can approach from a couple of angles. The knee-jerk reaction is to think that a new age orchestra reinterpreting songs by a leading new age artist smacks of redundancy. The second is simply to listen and judge. Unfortunately, the conclusion has to be that this really adds nothing to the originals. Where Enya's music has had a gossamer-light touch throughout her career, the Taliesin Orchestra make heavy work of her material; "Orinoco Flow," for example, doesn't so much burble as trickle, and "Storms in Africa" becomes an overblown mess by its epic conclusion. That said, it's a brave attempt to marry synthesizer-based new age music with more traditional orchestral instruments, and if it had succeeded, the bravery would have paid off wonderfully. But in the end it's the stodge factor that drags it down, with only fleeting things like "May It Be" (never one of Enya's strongest tracks to begin with) achieving even a modicum of success. Some things, perhaps, are better left untouched.

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