Review Summary: Conveniently just in time for the spree, the decorations and celebrations, And Winter Came… offers plenty of material for her close followers, and to those who are simply looking for an appropriate album to play through their homes during the festive se
Oddly, in just over twenty years, none of Enya’s releases have dedicated themselves exclusively towards the festive season. Many of her previous albums have been seamlessly repackaged with glitter and tinsel to accompany the Christmas rush, decorating the nooks and crannies of department store corner display units. Using the electronic pads, cathedral reverberance, and wall of sound styled vocal harmonisation she has come to personify and almost take claim to, the sonic element of And Winter Came…
expediently fits the Christmas mould with elegance; it’s a wonder that she hasn’t approached this idea already.
When she did begin to consider producing such an album, she initially envisaged it to become that of less-than-unique one, including usual Christmas carol covers, and the possibility of some original pieces being selflessly added to the mix. What eventuated in fact, was an evolution through which she delved into the cold, yet mystical and meditative period of winter. “How does snow sound" How does it form, and how does this affect those around it"” – are thoughts that become a place for the music to essentially form, just as any snowflake would.
With a filling comprised of genuine snow-laden harmonic essences and appropriately paced joyful dialogue from the pen of her lyricist, Roma Ryan, Enya offers an assortment of well-paced fantasies, dashed by a few upbeat ice-breakers to calm the feeling of monotony whenever it may arise. Whether exactly it’s for winter or Christmas itself doesn’t necessarily become a place for lengthy thought once the music begins rather atypically during the choral “And Winter Came…”
. Just like any other Enya song would unfoil (pensive and epically), so to do many others (most in fact), but considering the initial intentions, there are markers for where she clearly has found room for celebratory rhythms to form, such as in the very joyful “White is in the Winter Night
, and rolling snares in “One Toy Soldier”
that is backed by a sweetly delivered vocal performance. Possibly the most unrepresentative song, “My! My! Time Flies!”
becomes the most powerful on the album, using a solid beat, and a rather surprising entry from a bluesy lead guitar that sounds like it’s been ripped from a 70s prog-rock record.
Given these occasional and well-earned surprises, the album also offers no new definable directions for Enya to explore in the future, nor does it warrant any new kind of sound for her to bounce off. It seems though this is of no issue for her, as pace is as important as bearings are. For what it is, And Winter Came…
will succeed in satisfying fans, the Christmas airwaves, either in the home or shopping centre, and most importantly Enya herself.