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Only Time: The Collection - Enya

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5 Reviews

Genre: Folk - Irish Folk / Artist: Enya / Box set / Audio CD released 2002-11-11 at Wea

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    5 Reviews
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      05.05.2012 17:17
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      Enya is perhaps one of my favourite vocalists whilst she may not be the best known her music is amongst the most sampled by other artists. She does have an easily recognisable voice which I find to be hauntingly beautiful and whilst most of her best known tracks are in English I prefer some of those sung in Gaelic and Latin.

      This collection is over 4 CDs and the fourth disc also contains one video (oiche chiuin). The set is presented in a tall box which is covered in purple velvet like material. The inlay booklet has short written accounts about the song either what the song is about or some history behind the name of it. In one case (Storms in Africa) where both English and Gaelic versions were recorded only the Gaelic version is included. The lyrics are included on the inlay booklet but I think the font they have been typed in is a little too small. There are also some photos of Enya included as well.

      The four discs contain a good range of her music from the traditional Gaelic folk music such as "March of the Celts" to more haunting ones such as "Tempus Vernum". Listening to the range of different styles of music Enya is capable of shows why her music is not only often sampled by other artists but is also used in films ('May it be' was written for "Lord of the Rings - the fellow ship of the ring") and TV programmes. Whilst there are a good number of tracks which are on her pervious albums there are also some much rarer non album tracks as well. One which for me should have been included is the Gaelic version of 'Book of Days'. Whilst the better known English version is still good it doesn't compare to the original Gaelic one (well in my opinion anyway).

      Most of the instruments used for the album are traditional ones and they are a far cry from the modern day electric synthesiser stuff which makes backing tracks, to me, sound artificial. Also unlike some modern day artists Enya has no need for auto-tune. The video included in disc four of Oiche Chiuin shows her abilities to perform live without any electronic jiggery pokery. Some may say that the carol isn't exactly difficult to sing; well I personally believe that singing in tune and not over doing it is very difficult. Something a good number of modern artists appear to be unable to do.

      Enya's main instrument is her own voice and at times there is multi-layering of tracks hence she is effectively her own backing singer. Some of the tracks she has recorded herself either humming or ahhhhing the melody and then puts the vocals over this and again this works just as well as if she had used shall we say traditional instruments. With some of the tracks it is hard to believe that all the vocals are coming from the same person.


      My personal Favourites:

      The collection does have 50 tracks and one video on it so I am not going to review all of them but just a select few.

      Orinoco flow:

      Possibly one of her best known songs and has her vocals multi-layered on the track. Her use of vocals to invoke a constant rhythm works particularly well. Although I have to say it works better if you imagine a train on a track rather than the movement of seas and oceans.

      Tempus Vernum

      Whether or not this was the intention I find this to be a much darker track. For me it conjures up an image of a large darkish room lit only by burning torches or candles with a pentagram on the floor...

      Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night)

      Despite my "Keep Christmas till December" stance this is still one of my favourite tracks. Sung well this is one of my favourite carols and the fact it is sung in Gaelic adds something extra special to it. The track is simply done with just Enya's voice and a rather muted pipe organ accompaniment in the first verse with additional vocal backing in later verses.


      Athair ar Neamh

      Translates into English as "Father in Heaven" for me it is Enya's vocals in this which make it such a good track. It is quite simple in its make up, just a piano and Enya's vocals but it does go a long way in proving the saying that sometimes less is more.


      Pax Deorum

      One of the tracks sung in Latin and for me it has been well put together with the multi-layering of Enya's voice with the somewhat darker lower vocals in contrast to the lighter higher pitched ones. It is hard to believe that both 'sets' of the lyrics are performed by the same person and the track does really show off Enya's vocal range.


      Summary:

      I bought this collection some years ago for £25 and I have listened to it on a large number of occasions. The range of different styles shows that in many senses Enya is a one off. Enya has a fantastic vocal range and her ability to perform just as well in the three languages used across this collection proves that she is not style over substance.

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        22.01.2009 17:21
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        relaxing

        Well what can be said about this delightful box set, it is an absolute must for fans of Enya as it encompasses most oher finest moments and is a real treat to listen to.
        You will find all of Enya's landmark tracks on here, including Orinoco Flow and Book of Days, amidst a selection of rarer songs. For nearly two decades, Enya has been charming her listeners with her unique brand of music and has succeeded in becoming one the leading female solo artists in the world.
        Her soothing tones are always a delight to behold and this box set is perhaps only a real must for die hard Enya fans, as it is quite pricey.
        Despite the cost it does come in rather fancy packaging and the purple cover will look splendid sitting next to your other Enya material. I would recommend this to fans and those wishing to explore her music further and in more depth

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        16.05.2008 15:02
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        Enya knows how to produce greatest music...

        That was my first experience, I mean " Only Tıme : The Collection", I have never listened her before..

        I converted all 4 Cds into Mp3 and played. It was a coincidence to listen "Afer Ventus" first which is the first track of CD3.. It was so amazing that I almost forgot all other things in the world, the music just caught me and hold me tightly. When I realized that was from 3rd CD, I became so curious as I was wondering if that was from 3st CD, how wonderful are the songs of the first CD? That question may be bit silly, but this was the question appeared in my mind.

        Watermark is the one, start of the first cd. It was something magical, just like meditation, and gives you feelings about Hope.. Makes you think that there is a bright future waiting you, refreshing your hopes..

        I listened other songs but could not listen all of the songs as there are 49 song on the CDs.

        The lyrics.. I do not have any idea about the language but I read that those words are Gaelic and Latin.. But that fact can not change anything, musics are still great.

        This was the first time I listened her work, and I am sure I will listen her for a long time..

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          16.05.2008 13:05
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          It's worth a listen if you are open minded when listening to new music

          In my brave attempt to open my mind to all different musical genre's I felt I had to really try something outside my comfort zone, so who better than the loveable Irish musician Enya and her strange New Age contemporary sound to set me on my tracks to a new musical love. Did I find one?

          Not really ,I felt the best way to approach Enya would be in the form of a greatest hits album, so I grabbed myself a copy of "Only Time- The Collection" , to say it was a bit overwhelming would be an understatement. 4 Discs wasn't what I expected, as in my thinking, how could she have 4 discs worth of greatest hits yet managed to escape me all this time.

          It's too big a collection to go through track by track but the most impressive thing for me is that all vocals and instrumentation is all performed by Enya herself, that's 51 tracks in all that she wrote and performed on her lonesome.

          The only problem some may find with this album and which can make it hard to get into is that a lot of the tracks are written in her native Gaelic and some in Latin , however that doesn't take away from some of the beautiful songs on this compliation.

          Orinoco Flow (Think the old Volkswagen Adverts) is her most famous single to date but theres various different soothing tones and relaxing music on these Cd's

          Overall I'm not a converted Enya fan but I do feel a bit musically richer for having given this a try, there may be a time in the future where I'll return to listen to her work more. For now I'd say its worth giving a try and she is an undeniably very talented woman.

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            12.07.2007 16:42
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            perfect music , perfectly presented

            Enya, (Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin,) is an Irish singer who has been performing for many years, as a singer and songwriter. She was born into a musical family in Donegal Ireland in 1961, with her grandmother, father, and mother all being musical performers.

            Enya began performing with Clannad in the 1980’s, playing the keyboard and doing backing vocals, although she was never recognized as a real member of the band. When Nicky Ryan decided to stop working as the bands producer, Enya teamed up with him to launch her own solo career, with "An Ghaoth Ón Ghrian" ("The Solar Wind") and "Miss Clare Remembers". It wasn’t until 1984 however that she was first credited as Enya, a simplified pronunciation of her name, and the name then stuck.

            Only time- The Collection contains 51 of Enya's songs, some in Gaelic, some in Latin, and others in English. It comes in a rather swanky purple velvet covered case, which houses 4 CD's as well as a thick booklet containing photographs, lyrics, and Enya’s own commentary in her music. Still working with Nicky Ryan, who produces and manages her, and his wife Roma, writer, poetess, and lyricist, without whom, Enya has stated, Enya would not exist.

            The songs here vary – from the simple soothing instrumentals of watermark, the distinctly Irish instrumental ‘Sun in the Stream’, to the fast paced vocals of ‘Book of Days’ there’s really no musical style not covered by Enya.

            Her performance is amazing – The strange surrounding effect of her voice on the songs is achieved by layering her voice up to 80 times, and she also exclusively provides all percussion on her own music. Her voice is a distinctive, pure sounding with a seductive twang to it. Her vocal range is best described as soprano, although she does hit some alto low notes very well.

            Highlights of the Album
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Orinoco flow
            ~~~~~~~~~~~

            Orinoco Flow (sail away)- perhaps the best known of her songs, it was this that shot her to international stardom, reaching number one in the UK singles chart in October 1988, remaining there for three weeks , and was also used in an American advert for Volkswagen.

            Her style on this album is to divide multi-syllable words into single syllables when sung leads to this song, written entirely in English, sounding in parts like its sung in Latin. The song is a tale of travel – referencing many cities and destinations in the lyrics. A small example:

            ‘From Bissau to Palau- in the shade of Avalon,
            From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony,
            From Peru to Cebu hear the power of Babylon,
            From Bali to Cali- far beneath the Coral Sea’
            Multilayered vocals, and a stunning instrumental, including harp, keyboards, and percussion, make this song a pleasure to listen to.

            How can I keep from Singing?
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            How Can I Keep From Singing? is a traditional Shaker hymn reworked by Pete Seeger in the 1960s, when the song became popular as folk music came back into fashion, his version leaving out most of the Christian sentiment of the song and adding a verse.

            Enya followed the Pete Seeger version of the song on her album Shepherd Moons in 1991, also releasing it as singly in the same year.

            'My life goes on in endless song,
            Above earths lamentations,
            I hear the real, though far off hymn,
            That hails a new creation.
            Through all the tumult and the strife,
            I hear its music ringing.
            It sounds an echo in my soul.
            How can I keep from singing?'

            This song is one of my favorites because the instrumental is minimal, allowing Enya’s pure voice to shine more clearly, and allows the lyrics to be heard and understood clearly.

            Oíche Chiúin
            ~~~~~~~~~~
            This is the traditional Christmas carol, originally written as Stille Nacht by father Joseph Mohr in German, and first performed in the Nicola-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 25, 1818.

            Enya’s version is sung in Gaelic, and the bonus with this song is that it comes with an accompanying video of the performance at Christ Church Dublin. The pure rich tones of Enya’s voice again get the chance to shine on this song.

            Presentation
            ~~~~~~~~~~
            With this album being a collector’s edition in a limited edition of 200,000, I can't end this review without going into some description of how it’s presented. It comes in a tall CD case, which opens up like a book to reveal two CD’s on each side, housed in black plastic. The outside of the case is covered in a tactile purple velvet type fabric, overlaid with subtle fern patterns, and with Enya embossed in gold letters, beneath which the words, only time the collection are written.

            Inside, is a shiny piece of purple paper listing all the songs and letting you know which CD's they are on. Since the song titles are not listed either on the CDs or the case, this bit of a paper is important, so it's perhaps a shame that rather than being loose, it wasn't included in the glossy photograph and lyric booklet attached to the case.

            The glossy 48 page booklet, which is attached to the case, contains a selection of photographs of Enya. Already a stunning woman to look at, Enya is shown in various poses and moods, from contemplative, to sad, and perhaps the truest reflection of herself - shy. Also included are the lyrics to all the non instrumental songs and each song come with a small commentary about the meaning of the song, its inspiration, or even just a little fact. For example, an instrumental, 'The Memory of Trees' comes with the following comment:

            ‘In ancient Celtic belief trees had spirits within them and were considered to be sacred. They were the keepers of memory and lore'

            That’s not the whole comment, just a snippet, but the booklet makes interesting reading.

            Price and Availability
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            This is available for a little under £23 from amazon.co.uk

            Conclusion
            ~~~~~~~~~
            Stunning vocals and ethereal harmonies make this the perfect CD to listen to after a tough day, or just to relax at home. A large collection of tracks, both instrumental and vocal, in a mixture of language and styles, there’s something here to appeal to everyone I think. The best word to describe the music is sublime, and the packaging and booklet, the overall presentation of the album, was pure class.

            Any collector would be proud to own this, and any music fan would be able to appreciate the beauty and uplifting nature of this music!

            Buy it!

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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 Watermark
            2 Exile
            3 Aldebaran
            4 March of the Celts
            5 Boadicea
            6 Sun in your stream
            7 On your shore
            8 Cursum perficio
            9 Storms in Africa (original version)
            10 Celts
            11 Miss Clare remembers
            12 I want tomorrow

            Disc #2 Tracklisting
            1 Orinoco flow
            2 Ebudae
            3 River
            4 Longships
            5 Ma laetha geal m'oige
            6 Book of days (single version)
            7 Shepherd moons
            8 Caribbean blue
            9 Evacuee
            10 Evening falls
            11 Lothlorien
            12 Marble halls

            Disc #3 Tracklisting
            1 After ventus
            2 No holly for Miss Quinn
            3 Memory of trees
            4 Anywhere is
            5 Athair ar neamh
            6 China roses
            7 How can I keep from singing
            8 Hope has a place
            9 Tea house moon
            10 Pax deorum
            11 Eclipse
            12 Isobella

            Disc #4 Tracklisting
            1 Only time (original album version)
            2 Day without rain
            3 Song of the sandman (lullaby)
            4 Willows on the water
            5 Wild child (album version)
            6 Flora's secret
            7 Fallen embers
            8 Tempus vernum
            9 Deora ar mo chroi
            10 One by one
            11 First of Autumn
            12 Lazy days
            13 May it be
            14 Oiche Chiun (Silent Night)
            15 Oiche Chiun (video) (Silent Night)