Enya

A Day Without Rain

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Enya's first full-length album of new material in five years (and her fourth in 12 years) will have a familiar sound to the millions who have followed her career so far. As usual, the slow songs sound like "Silent Night" being performed in a cathedral, and the less slow songs are paced by rhythm patterns that would be called pizzicato passages if they were being played on real strings instead of string-like synthesizers. Over the music, Enya sings in her multi-tracked, ethereal voice, making Roma Ryan's lyrics, which are full of pastoral imagery and abstract romantic sentiments, seem even more insubstantial than they already are. In the press materials accompanying the release, Enya explains why it took her five years to come up with less than 34 and a half minutes of music that sounds like most of her earlier music by noting that she plays all the instruments and does all the singing herself without using samples. It might be more accurate to say that there is no need for her to release albums any more frequently than she does, since each one sells over a long period of time. And since her listeners are more concerned with the mood she sets than with musical content, the similarity to her other albums is a good thing. This is music that works almost entirely as a surface pleasure; strip it of its pretensions, and it's just contemporary easy listening music.

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