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Enya - One talented woman!
Only Time: The Collection - Enya
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Only Time: The Collection - Enya
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 (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.
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.
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
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!
Summary: perfect music , perfectly presented