Enya – “Dark Sky Island” (2015)

 Label: Warner Bros. Records

Review by Warren Mayocchi

“Dark Sky Island” is an album title tribute to the the island of Sark. It was the first island to be recognised as having no light pollution during the night and therefore is eminently suitable for watching the night sky. As a label for a musical album the celestial themed title does suit the content of the album. As well as the title track there are “The Loxian Gates”, “The Forge of the Angels”, both of which are said to be “intergalactic songs” and “Astra et Luna” (stars and moon). “The Humming…” attempts to represent the sound of the “early universe”. The deeper theme of the album is one of journeys.

The new album is a continuation of what Enya does best – create musical air. That is my description for her music, however there are some who call it new age, and the official line is Irish Celtic. They are all inadequate descriptors for what you will find on “Dark Sky Island”. With the musical elements like orchestras, harps, pianos, ethereal vocals, chanting, choirs and a modern-folk style of song writing there is definitely a spiritual resonance to what you will hear. But there is also power. So while Enya may at times present us with a gentle musical experience, we keep coming back to hear the challenge in her stronger songs. “The Humming…”, “Even in the Shadows”, and “The Forge of the Angels” all have a strong rhythmic challenge and are my favourites on this album. “Echoes in Rain” has similarity to Enya‘s first major single from 1988 – “Orinoco Flow”. It has a surprising piano interlude, and it has a flowing positive vibe, however it has a slightly forced delivery in comparison to “Orinoco Flow”. A music video has been created for “So I Could Find My Way”. It is one of the melodic, peaceful songs on the album and an odd choice for a music video. Certainly it is beautiful, but not a standout track.

“Dark Sky Island” contemplates the intergalactic and the wonders of travel. While our travels might take us across the world, or into the void, the most fantastic journeys are those that change us in some way. This new album from Enya will be wildly successful – it is good, fans everywhere will be happy. However, I would like to have gone further into uncharted territory rather than the mostly familiar paths traveled in this album. For all but 600 of us the island of Sark is only a place that we can maybe visit, in the meantime the new album from Enya allows us to breathe the musical air inspired by a dark sky.

Rating – 84/100

 

Tracklist

  1. The Humming
  2. So I Could Find My Way
  3. Even in the Shadows
  4. The Forge of the Angels
  5. Echoes in Rain
  6. I Could Never Say Goodbye
  7. Dark Sky Island
  8. Sancta Maria
  9. Astra et Luna
  10. The Loxian Gates
  11. Diamonds on the Water

 

Links

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enya.com