on 29 July 2001
Most artists, having taken five years (not counting the stop-gap Best Of) to make an album that's less than 40 minutes long, could be justly criticised a little - not so Enya! It's all about quality over quantity, and A Day Without Rain is certainly that. One pointer: to the uninitiated, one Enya album (or even song) sounds pretty similar to the last. Give yourself some time to get into the music - she hasn't sold 40 million through musical innovation but consistency. If you're already familiar, expect more of the same. There are moments of familiarity, but if you're someone who's bought every previous album and not tired of the format, this album is a definite must.
A Day Without Rain has a fuller, richer sound than early works like Watermark but otherwise follows the established pattern. If you're new to Enya you may want to investigate The Best Of first, although such is the homogeneity of her albums there's really no need.
Suffice to say everything is present and correct: stirring mid-tempo tracks, achingly slow and beautiful ballads, lush instrumentals. The only wrong step taken here is the ubiquitous latin chant. They seem to slip onto every album in one form or another, fine considered alone but a bit of a mood spoiler shuffled between Only Time and Deora Ar Mo Chroi. However, forget this momentary blip and try not to be moved by the rest of the album, particularly the heartbreaking Fallen Embers or thunderous The First Of Autumn.
What tends to be forgotten is that, with few exceptions, every sound you here is made by Enya herself. All the voices and instruments - every single track is individually recorded, up to 100 of them forming each song. In that light, taking several years to create an aural soundscape of such beauty and depth seems forgivable after all! I have no hesitation in recommending this album to anyone. Perfect for chilling out, background music while working or meditation. In fact, perfect full stop.
on 3 December 2001
After five years a day without rain, has it been worth the wait? Undoubtedly I think!!
Ok, people will say it's similar to her other albums, but if it wasn't it just wouldn't be Enya, why change something that works so well? plus I think it is subtly different, it contains a lot more string based sounds rather than synth, and I've never heard lyrics like 'she says adios, says adios, goodbye' or 'lovers in the long grass' on any of her other works!
This CD contains what I think will be a lot of classic Enya tracks, especially in songs like Wild Child, Only Time, Flora's Secret, One By One and the uplifting Lazy Days, not to mention the breathtaking Fallen Embers in which you really get to hear the pure emotion and beauty of Enya's voice.
And yes, we know its only 37:33 minutes long,(yawn) (just 2.5 minutes shorter than Watermark), but one of Enya's albums is worth at least two of anyone else's, so does it really matter?!!
on 26 January 2001
Yet again, Enya has provided a magical tapestry of music to delight us. As the Amazon reviewer indicated, her music has a "regal mysticism" that is hard to quantify.
Personally, my favorite has always been "Shepherd Moons", followed by "Watermark". This new album is an improvement on "The Memory of Trees", but as others have stated, there is nothing new here.
Not that that is altogether a bad thing. "Wild Child" and "Flora's Secret" are wonderfully hummable and infectous. All of the cuts have Enya's particular and unique brand of synth-harmonics and "regal mysticism" that seem to touch listeners so deeply (albeit somewhat lightly here).
My only real complaint is that the disc is simply not very long. The CD clocks in at just under 35 minutes.
The relative brevity of the CD may be alright from an artist's viewpoint of making a complete statement, no matter the time limit, and the work is finished. But I personally would not have minded another cut or two after five years.
Still, the disc is a keeper. After all, whether Monet paints a wall mural or a postcard, it is still a Monet. This work is lighter than Enya's previous efforts, more like a bright sunny Spring day.
The disc cannot help but be popular. I do not believe that Enya has listeners, or even fans. She has followers. Her creations that resonate so deeply with so many different people call to mind the timeless, the historical, the magical, the depth of longing, a touch of melancholy, and tales of kings, queens, castles and dragons. In short, that's what "regal mysticism" is all about, and Enya produces it with music.
Such gifts are rare.
on 4 November 2004
I'd like to start this review by telling you how i started listening to Enya. Around 3 months ago, whilst eating onion bhajis and pilau rice I hears some amazing music in the background (im not just hearing things, my dad had put a CD on)I asked what it was. When my pater told me it as Enya the name stirred some memories.
Around 2 years ago, my music teacher (evil cow) had played some enya in the lesson. I remember thinking it was beautiful, but not ssaying anything in case some one took the piss. Anyway after dinner I hijacked the CD, took it to my bedroom and played a couple of times. That is when i fell in love with the music.
This explains why I'm not familiar with Enya's other albums, but i fail to understand why anyone could give this album less than 5 stars. MY personal favourite track is "Wild Child" which is beyond a doubt the most beautiful music I have ever heard. I find it hard to describe this music as I can't find words that do it justice. So anyway, anyone who sees this, BUY THE ALBUM! It is unbelievably good and I'm sure you won't regret it.
One of the greatest albums of the decade and most certainly one of the greatest works ever to be captured on CD! Undoubtedly Enya's greatest moment which she can never hope to better - but only ever hope to match. She manages to capture every emotion here - and every tempo. A masterpiece where Enya reaches perfection in the extreme. This also includes her greatest single ever (that ironically did not chart - and there goes the British Public for you again! Shame on you!!) in 'Wild Child'. It is one of those songs reminiscent of the days when singles would be bought and played over and over again 'til they were worn out! Each track is perfectly placed, and clearly much thought has gone into this arrangement. There's not a single song that does not belong on this album, and it would be like having a jigsaw with a missing piece without any one of them. This is one of the most tuneful and melodic collection of songs you will ever find gathered together in one place!
The album opens with the beautiful and tranquil title track: 'A Day Without Rain', and one of many short songs on this album that leave you wanting more and more - once again; this proves the point that some of the best and most greatest works are indeed the shortest of all! This track is then followed by the aforementioned 'Wild Child' followed by the hauntingly melancholic 'Only Time', which is based upon a lovely and reflective mood. After this we get 'Tempus Vernum' which is a marvellous interpretation of the dramatic and sudden arrival of spring - this is yet another short track, which then fades into the beautifully sad 'Deora Ar Mo Chroi'. After this, we go into an 'upbeat' mode for 'Dora's Secret' which has a distinctly happy tone to it. 'Silver Inches' is a merry little track - short and sweet, and one is almost able to imagine a minuet being performed by an ancient group of little old-fashioned people! This is followed by the magnificent 'Pilgrim' - another inspiring 'shortie'. The uplifting tempo of 'One by One' is quite 'jolly', and 'The First Of Autumn' is interpreted like the startling arrival of the said season after a long and seemingly endless summer. 'Lazy Days' is the last track on this classic album, and is somewhat an 'odd' finale for such a moody and classic collection of perfect works of art that cannot be matched!
You will have to go a very long way to find another album that is so complete, perfect and magnificent as this is in every way, and most certainly has to be the peak of Enya's long and outstanding career!
on 24 July 2001
I thought this album was typically adherent to the high standards Enya sets herself, with some outstanding pieces of music such as Only Time. Admittedly the songs are similar to the untrained ear, but further acquaintance with this artist allows a more discerning attitude to emerge. On my first listening I was a little disappointed, both by the music (in its similarity) and by the duration of the album (which at just under 40 minutes is a slight disappointment and dubious value for money). However, over time I found myself becoming more in tune with the music, and my enjoyment improved with further listening. I would recommend this album to avid admirers of Enya's gentle classical style, but for newcomers i would first suggest the compilation Paint The Sky With Stars - The Best Of Enya, as it provides a wider range of her music and a good overview of the history of this musician. Recommended also for those who appreciate artistes who can write music and play instruments in addition to singing.
To me, this album is far more atmospheric and interesting than previous albums, particularly 'Watermark' which I found rather dull. Although it may be true that some of the lyrics, particularly for 'Pilgrim' (the only track I dislike on this album) are not particularly good, I find that this isn't a problem with the other tracks as the music creates the atmosphere. I also love the way this album hangs together as a whole, really creating the sensation of being in a garden as the seasons change. I would recommend this even if, like me, you weren't particularly enthusiastic about some of Enya's previous albums.
on 27 April 2005
The various tracks have lyrics sung in English except where otherwise noted. Enya composed and sang all the songs, as well as performing all the accompaniment (including non-lyrical voices). Roma Ryan wrote the lyrics, while Nicky Ryan helped arrange the songs.
I bought this primarily to get what I consider the *good* arrangement of "Only Time" (more about that below), but I've come to enjoy the other songs as well.
"A Day without Rain" has no lyrics in any language; it's essentially instrumental. The piece is dominated by a very clear solo piano, which I personally always associate with water imagery in Enya's music.
"Wild Child" Very clear lyrics, with the refrain "What a day / what a day to take to / a wild child".
"Only Time" has two arrangements that I'm aware of; *this* is the arrangement that *hasn't* been marred by unnecessary percussion accompaniment. (While Enya ordinarily can do no wrong, whoever arranged the percussive version seems to have been oblivious to the typical feel of her music.) In this arrangement, the accompaniment is dominated by staccato string, without any percussion at all.
"Tempus Vernum" (Latin for "Springtime") sung in Latin, has a comparatively long instrumental prologue, dominated by violin and deeper-voiced string instruments. Even when the singing does begin, it's softer than the driving accompaniment, which is of the dramatic steeple-chasing variety.
"Deora ar mo chroi" (Tears on My Heart) is sung in Gaelic (although the accompanying booklet inside the CD gives the English translation first). This song is very much dominated by Enya's lyrics, with some non-lyrical vocal accompaniment, and some rather low-key keyboard accompaniment that only becomes noticeable during the choruses.
"Flora's Secret" Rather staccato arrangement in waltz tempo, mainly string but with a little bit of bass drum. "Lovers in the long grass / look above them / only they can see / where the clouds are going / only to discover / dust and sunlight / ever make the sky so blue."
"Fallen Embers" Primarily accompanied by piano but including keyboard. "Once, when the night seemed forever / I was with you."
"Silver Inches" - Instrumental only, staccato string with non-lyrical vocals. Waltz tempo, string dominated by violin (but plucked rather than bowed), with keyboard phasing in only partway through the piece.
"Pilgrim" is dominated by Enya's singing, with very soft accompaniment so that the lyrics are very easy to follow. Even on the chorus, the accompaniment's volume is kept in check so that she's easy to understand. "Each heart is a pilgrim, / each one wants to know / the reason where the winds die / and where the stories go. / Pilgrim in your journey / you may travel far..."
"One by One" is again sung very clearly with quiet string-dominated accompaniment, so that the lyrics are easy to follow. The refrain is "she says Adios, says Adios, Goodbye. / One by one my leaves fall. / One by one my tales are told."
"Lazy Days" is driven by a staccato string accompaniment (both plucked strings and very sharp bow work on violin), but at a faster tempo than that of the good arrangement of "Only Time", to the point that it makes me think of images of horses running in slow motion; not *very* fast, but the impression is of movement at a stately pace.
on 2 December 2001
Then this could be something for you! A truly beautiful and relaxing instrumental track by the always fab. artist Enya. Very anti-stressing! If you are a fan, then you know what to expect - if you're not, you're pretty likely to become one.. ;)
on 21 January 2002
I've seen the other reviews and agree to a certain extent. The music is undoubtedly beautiful and for me, the best since (and before) Shepherd Moons. I disagree with the suggestion that she is 'samey', although I understand that to someone who does not know Enya's music, it could appear that way. There's not a bad track on the album, although my personal favourites are 'Only time' and 'One by One'. Having said that I find myself wondering whether some of the other tracks shouldn't also be included in my list of favourites. However, while this album is 5 star material, I cannot agree with those who choose quality over quantity. What material there is, is first class, but for our money I believe we deserve just a little more in terms of quantity. While there are 12 tracks, there are instrumentals lasting only a very short time and for that reason I give it only 4 stars. For those who don't know Enya, I would say buy it anyway, because her music is sedate, calming, encouraging and inspirational, and this is a first class example of her craft. I've also seen the video - see it.