27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The best Enya album yet!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Amarantine (Audio CD)
I have been an Enya fan since 'The Memory of Trees', 'Book of Days' being my all time favourite track.
The album is absolutely wonderful and well worth the wait. Although ADWR seemed to chart new ground for Enya in terms of increasing use of strings and a new simplicity of arrangement influenced by classical music, I felt it was too spartan, too short and underdeveloped.
'Amarantine' to me sees Enya continue with this exploration and refine it to a much higher degree. In addition the raw power and mystique that we knew from the earlier albums (think 'Storms in Africa', 'Book of Days' etc) is back with a vengeance. Another strength of this album is that it seems much more varied in composition, instrumentation and arrangement than ADWR. This fusions makes 'Amarantine' her most well developed work to date in my opinion.
Highlights of the album for me are many. 'Less than a Pearl' conveys a power reminiscent of Adiemus. 'In the Rain' has a beautiful chord progression and is a close relative of 'China Roses'. 'The River Sings' again shows us a power and force in Enya's music that I thought was lost after TMOT. Does the river burst its banks in the end? 'Long Long Journey' again is classically Enya with roots seemingly in traditional folk melodies. 'Amid the Falling Snow' is another personal favourite, principally because of the beautiful chord progression and harmonies. 'Water Shows the Hidden Heart' is the obvious progression in a new depth of composition that was tentatively explored in La Sonadora, then came into being with 'Isobella', found widespread acclaim in 'May It Be' and now has been developed to its highest. Many say that this is the most beautiful song on the album and I quite agree.
In addition the quality of the sound is exemplary, testamount no doubt to the quality of the equipment in Aigle studios.
I will always have favourites from other albums, but I have found 'Amarantine' to be her most rounded and well developed work to date.