Enya
A Day Without Rain


3.5
great

Review

by Brendan Schroer STAFF
November 26th, 2013 | 19 replies | 1,327 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A beautiful album primarily marred by predictability.

Whether you're a fan of new age or not, many of the artists involved should at least be given kudos for creating unique musical environments with their works. For many (myself included), music like this is best experienced outside as a background experience, sort of like a soundtrack to daily life depending on the person's mood. Even more impressive is how certain artists can create an atmosphere for certain seasons or even weather conditions. For instance, Devin Townsend's 2011 album Ghost (which happens to be his only album with a new age sound) could easily be used for a quiet night at the beach; or there's Yanni, whose music is more classical in nature and can depict a sense of sorrow or the return of autumn. However, Enya's captured a very certain vibe over the course of her career, one that I feel has never been replicated. Imagine a mix of new age, folk, and pop; the folk is on the Celtic side (reflecting her Irish origin), and there can be hundreds of vocal overdubs at a time. The overall result is something extremely vast-sounding, and sounds like the equivalent of a large rainy Irish field in the springtime. Having sold over 75 million copies of her records, she still remains the highest-selling new age musician of all time and many of her songs remain staples of the genre. While her 80s/90s work was very well received and fared well commercially, A Day Without Rain is still her most successful record despite numerous negative reviews by critics. What do I think? Well, it's not her best, but it's still quite good.

The biggest strength on offer here is its consistency; the songwriting is predictable, but always gives you the mood you expect from a typical Enya album. The production is crystal clear, allowing the listener to grasp every little nuance of the lush atmosphere conveyed. The chemistry between Enya's vocals and her instrumentation is very in-tune and offers plenty of intimate moments such as the opening title track, which adds vocal harmonies and backing synthesizers in a gorgeously subtle way while making the piano work the main focus. At the same time, however, there aren't as many piano-driven songs on here as there were on previous records. The synthesizers, usually symphonic-sounding, dominate a good chunk of this record to give it a more vast sound while still retaining its emotional resonance. As with other Enya records, there's a huge amount of multi-tracking to create layers upon layers of different musical "voices" when the time calls for that vibe; even in a more accessible record of hers like this one, you might still end up marveling at just how much is going on at once during the instrumental sections. The lyrics can get quite sappy from time to time and don't really draw you into the atmosphere any further than the singing or instrumental aspects, but they do fit the overall tone of the album. The real problem, as said before, is the predictability. After a while, the songs start to run together and become tougher to distinguish; it really would have been nice to have more interludes like the dark symphonic brooding of "Tempus Vernum" or another piano number like the reflective ballad "Fallen Embers." The constant symphonic synth backing starts to get old about halfway through the album and even Enya's vocals suffer from a lack of variety in notation. It's a shame, because previous works like "Shepherd Moons" and "Watermark" were able to retain similar stylistic qualities and still mix things up songwriting-wise now and again, creating a near-perfect balance. However, I still recommend picking A Day Without Rain up. It's predictable, but the moments that are good are REALLY good. I'd just recommend listening to the record a few steps at a time so it won't get too boring too quickly. You can usually find it at the bargain bin for about two dollars anyway, so if you're into new age, it's worth a shot.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
3.6
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TheMisterBungle (4)
This album is a stunning journey for the ears from the moment you press play....


Comments:Add a Comment 
FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2013



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm kinda liking the two-paragraph format at the moment :]

Willie
Moderator
November 26th 2013



15894 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is probably my second favorite Enya album. I think for music like this, predictability is a good thing because it's supposed to be soothing and relaxing. Good review, though.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2013



8318 Comments


I'm kinda liking the two-paragraph format at the moment :]
It's a good format to use for short reviews. Oh and yea, good writing.

KILL
November 26th 2013



70718 Comments


only heard watermark aint gonna lie but man i dig it despite the queerness n all

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Willie
Moderator
November 26th 2013



15894 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Watermark is her best (even though that 'Sail Away' song drives me nuts). This is a close second, though.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2013



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, guys. Yeah, I guess the predictability can be fine. I just wish there were more songs that
broke the slight monotony, but it's alright

I think I might just give Shepherd Moons and Watermark write-ups though. Really sucks how much of her
work isn't reviewed on here

Ecnalzen
November 26th 2013



6398 Comments


Don't think I have heard much Enya besides some of her more popular singles.

bloc
November 26th 2013



34679 Comments


Only Time is a classic

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2013



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Don't think I have heard much Enya besides some of her more popular singles."

You should listen to Shepherd Moons and Watermark then, they're fantastic

Ecnalzen
November 26th 2013



6398 Comments


Maybe I will, Five/Necro.

Maybe I will...

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2013



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh you should ;]

OmairSh
March 18th 2014



10092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Enya!

Digging: Anders Bjorler - Antikythera - Chapter One

zakalwe
March 18th 2014



6745 Comments


Nah!

Digging: Bob Mould - Beauty & Ruin

OmairSh
March 18th 2014



10092 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hellya!!

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
May 20th 2014



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

:]

oltnabrick
July 14th 2014



30161 Comments


and who can say where the road goes,
where the day flows?

Digging: Miyuki - Fellow Citizen

MrSirLordGentleman
July 25th 2014



4123 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't get why sputnik dislikes new age

oltnabrick
July 25th 2014



30161 Comments


because its for middle aged women LOL

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
July 25th 2014



9731 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That seems to be the stigma for sure, especially with Enya's 2000s material :[



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