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Enya LPs Ranked

this is the official enya ranked list
9Enya
The Very Best Of Enya


Enya's music played a significant role in my childhood, and has since then proved to be an important musical and emotional anchor in my adult life. Only familiar with a handful of her albums, but intent on an informed and based Enya ranking, I set out on a chronological discog run. Below are the findings...read away, read away, read away
8Enya
And Winter Came...


“But nothing is forever
Not even the starlight
At midnight
Not even the moonlight”

Released: 2008

This album gets last place, not because it's a bad album (Enya doesn't make those), but because it's just not as good as the rest. Of her records that could be accused of going through the motions, And Winter Came... is probably the worst offender. Coupled with an overwhelming christmas aesthetic that only sometimes succeeds, Enya's penultimate release is relegated to the bottom of this ranking. 3.1/5
7Enya
Enya (The Celts)


“Saol na saol
Tús go deireadh
Tá muid beo
Go deo”

released: 1987

Ah, the debut... I want to give its flaws a pass, since it's basically a shorter version of the score she originally wrote for a BBC documentary, but just so I'm being thorough on the listening side of things... This album is slightly more meandering for Enya, with several o-kay 1.5 minute interludes in the tracklist. The tune tunes themselves don't quiiite come together either, for the most part.

In other words, it's evident that Enya is still forming her sound. What's here is beautiful, and impressive, but it lacks the unique identity that her subsequent albums would achieve. Still a very pleasant listen. 3.2/5

*Fun little piece of trivia: The Fugees' tune “Ready or Not” is built around a sample of “Boadicea”
6Enya
Shepherd Moons


“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?”

released: 1991

Given the critical and commercial success of Watermark, it makes sense that Enya might stay in her comfort zone for the follow-up, but this album truly does nothing that Watermark didn't do. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's a great album, but in failing to reach the heights of its predecessor, Shepherd Moons can become a little bit more of an 'in one ear, out the other' album experience. That being said, it houses a good handful of classic Enya tracks, “Caribbean Blue” being one of the highlights. 3.7/5
5Enya
Amarantine


“You know love may sometimes make you cry
So let the tears go, they will flow away”

released: 2005

Similar to the Watermark – Shepherd Moons phenomenon, Enya delivers a follow-up album nearly identical to A Day Without Rain. Utterly gorgeous, but lacking the highlights of its predecessor, Amarantine nonetheless manages to hold the attention and sneak in a few new tricks as well. 3.8/5

*Fun lil' piece of trivia: Inspired by Tolkien's Elvish language, Enya's lyricist (Roma Ryan) created a fictional language for this album called “Loxian,” which Enya sings in at various points.
4Enya
The Memory of Trees


“I might be just beginning
I might be near the end”

released: 1995

Follow-up to Shepherd Moons. Notably, the cover art breaks from previous styles, with bold colors, defined lines and edges... This change is reflected in the album's musical content as well, which sees Enya at her most purposeful and focused to date.

The layered vocals are completely entrancing on this album, in particular. Enya seems slightly more comfortable expressing herself; while Memory of Trees has less highlights than Watermark and Shepherd Moons, the music has grown into itself and, as a whole, flows from its source more naturally. Here, Enya taps into sentimental beauty and emotional catharsis in a way that she simply had not yet achieved on a cohesive, album-level before... 3.9/5
3Enya
Watermark


“Sail away, sail away, sail away”

released: 1988

The sophomore offering... Despite containing certified club banger “Orinoco Flow,” this album is a much more chilled-out affair than its predecessor. The tunes are still thick, but their busy-ness has been scaled back a smidge, and the traditional Gaelic/Irish/Celtic influences are toned down, more effectively blended compared to the debut... The result is a deep, relaxing album that flows well from front to back. 4.1/5
2Enya
A Day Without Rain


“Who can say where the road goes
Where the day flows, only time”

released: 2000

A Day Without Rain is a bit more happening than Memory of Trees, but still considerably mellow, with even more of a focus on choral arrangements built to knock the socks off. The addition of strings to the formula is a bold choice that compliments an already interesting approach to songwriting.

This album drags just the tiniest little bit near the middle, but its short length (37 mins!) keeps it from losing its charm. Plus, pretty much every track is amazing. 4.3/5

*Fun lil' piece of trivia: This album was recorded around the same time as Enya's “May It Be” and “The Council of Elrond Assembles” (both for the LOTR soundtrack).
1Enya
Dark Sky Island


“I could fall and keep on falling
I could call and keep on calling
Wonder why this love is over
Wonder why it's not forever more”

released: 2015

Enya's magnum opus. Setting aside disbelief that this release marked 30 years since she hit the big leagues, and considering all the works she'd released prior, Dark Sky Island is in a league of its own. All the subtle experimentation and growth in Enya's sound throughout several decades, all coalescing in perfect harmony to form an actual perfect album... Front to back, every song wraps you up, pulls you in, and takes you on a journey through “...the length of a lifetime; through history, through emotions; and journeys across great oceans.” 5/5
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