Dark Sky Island
Warner Brothers 2015
Review by David Bowling
Enya is who she is. If you like one Enya album, you will probably like them all. She has now returned with her first new studio album in seven years titled Dark Sky Island.
Her music and voice are instantly recognizable. He angelic voice supports music that is otherworldly and would be right at home in the world of Tolkien. Even her song titles reflect her style and sound as now; The Forge Of The Angels,” “Diamonds On The Water,” “Dark Sky Island,” “The Humming,” and “The Loxian Way” are added to the Enya lexicon.
The songs, individually, are less distinctive than her past work; rather they form a cohesive whole and the album is best approached as a unit.
The album is basically a three person project. Enya provides the vocals, writes the music, and except for the bass part on one song, plays all the instruments. Nicky Ryan produced the album and Roma Ryan wrote the lyrics and helped with the design.
Enya’s music has always appealed to the emotions more than the mind. It is a reflective experience that just washes you along. Roma Ryan’s lyrics are the perfect musical partner for Enya and their relationship now extends back decades. She has even written lyrics for Enya in the Loxian language, which she created. That language makes a return on the album.
While much of her music is layered, “I Could Never Say Goodbye” is more sparse and reaches back to her Irish roots and is a nice counterpoint to what surrounds it. Her vocal prowess is on display in “Echoes In Rain” as it soars higher and higher while telling the story of journeys end. “The Loxian Gates” is an entrance to Enya’s and Roma Ryan’s fantasy world.
Dark Sky Island will appeal to her huge world-wide fan base. There are no great leaps of faith here but the moods and textures are well thought out and constructed and should find a place in her ever increasing body of work.