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enya - Dark Sky Island [Warner Bros 0825646982691] (18 December 2015)

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Dark Sky Island

Released: 18 December 2015
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog: 0825646982691
Genre: Pop, Classical
Note: Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition
Note: LP was sealed. Seal broken to do this transfer. Only played once.

Matrix / Runout (Side A):
0825646982691 BF 10719-01 A UNIT-1

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
0825646982691 BF 10719-01 B
T R A C K L I S T:
01 The Humming
02 So I Could Find My Way
03 Even In The Shadows
04 The Forge Of The Angels
05 Echoes In Rain
06 I Could Never Say Goodbye
07 Dark Sky Island
08 Sancta Maria
09 Astra Et Luna
10 The Loxian Gates
11 Diamonds On The Water
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Album Review

Timothy Monger []

Since the late '80s, Irish singer/composer Enya has become the most unlikely of international stars, delivering lush, Celtic-driven pseudo-classical odes in her signature Wall of Sound vocal style, rarely granting interviews, never touring, and generally taking as much time as she wishes between albums. Bucking odds and industry trends, her popularity has remained steadfast, allowing her to become the best-selling Irish solo artist of all time. Following 2008's snowbound And Winter Came, her silence stretched to eight years -- the longest of her career -- before the mists once again parted to reveal her eighth album, the evocatively titled Dark Sky Island. Named for Sark, the smallest of Britain's Channel Islands and first in the world receive the Dark Sky designation for its lack of light pollution, it has all the thematic and sonic hallmarks typical of an Enya release but with significantly more highlights than on her two prior works. Since the release of her 1986 debut, changes in her overall approach have been subtle and critics have often derided her for her unwavering dedication to dated, late-'80s synth patches and her reliance on formulaic methods, but Enya's consistency is actually one of her greatest assets. Her low public profile -- especially in the age of social media -- demands that her music remains the sole focus, and even if she and collaborators Roma and Nicky Ryan choose to keep working within their unique, self-designed milieu, it's one that they own completely and have nurtured over the years. Opening track ''The Humming,'' with its eerie staccato swing and mystical musings on the cycles of the universe, is one of the strongest tracks she's produced in decades and resembles a dark cousin to 1991's masterwork ''Caribbean Blue.'' Inspired lead single ''Echoes of Rain'' also harkens back to her Shepherd Moons heyday and features some fine, cascading piano work amid the pulsing strings and exalted vocal layers. Dark Sky Island also marks the return of Loxian, a language lyricist Roma Ryan first created for Enya on 2005's Amarantine and which is used here on the lavish march ''The Forge of Angels'' and the powerful ''The Loxian Gate,'' which again echoes early Watermark-era standouts like ''Storms in Africa'' and ''The Longships.'' While it would be unfair to call Dark Sky Island a throwback, it does manage to harness some of the power and creativity of Enya's early days and pairs it with both the confidence and shadows of age.

enya's Biography

Stephen Thomas Erlewine []

With her blend of folk melodies, synthesized backdrops, and classical motifs, Enya created a distinctive style that more closely resembled new age than the folk and Celtic music that provided her initial influences. Enya is from Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland, which she left in 1980 to join the Irish band Clannad, the group that already featured her older brothers and sisters. She stayed with Clannad for two years, then left, hooking up with producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, with whom she recorded film and television scores. The result was a successful album of TV music for the BBC. Enya then recorded Watermark (1988), which featured her distinctive, flowing music and multi-overdubbed trancelike singing; the album sold eight million copies worldwide. Watermark established Enya as an international star and launched a successful career that has continued into the new millennium.

Enya (born Eithne Ni Bhraonain) was born into a musical family. Her father, Leo Brennan, was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band, a popular Irish show band; her mother was an amateur musician. Most important to Enya's career were her siblings, who formed Clannad in 1970 with several of their uncles. Enya joined the band as a keyboardist in 1980 and contributed to several of the group's popular television soundtracks. In 1982, she left Clannad, claiming that she was uninterested in following the pop direction the group had begun to pursue. Within a few years, she was commissioned, along with producer/arranger Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, to provide the score for a BBC-TV series called The Celts. The soundtrack was released in 1986 as her eponymous solo album.

Enya didn't receive much notice, but Enya and the Ryans' second effort, Watermark, became a surprise hit upon its release in 1988. Enya spent the years following the success of Watermark rather quietly; her most notable appearance was a cameo on Sinead O'Connor's I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. She finally released Shepherd Moons, her follow-up to Watermark, in 1991. Shepherd Moons was even more successful than its predecessor, eventually selling over ten million copies worldwide; it entered the U.S. charts at number 17 and remained in the Top 200 for almost four years.

Again, Enya was slow to follow up on the success of Shepherd Moons, spending nearly four years working on her fourth album. The record, entitled Memory of Trees, was released in December 1995. Memory of Trees entered the U.S. charts at number nine and sold over two million copies within its first year of release. In 1997 came the release of a greatest-hits collection, Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, which featured two new songs. Enya's first album of new material in five years, Day Without Rain, was released in late 2000. In 2001, she contributed material to the first film in Peter Jackson's award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, scoring a hit with the single ''May It Be.'' Amarantine, her first full-length recording since Day Without Rain, followed in November 2005. A holiday EP, Christmas Secrets, arrived in 2006, followed by an all new, full-length collection of original seasonal music called And Winter Came in 2008.

Her second greatest-hits collection, The Very Best of Enya, was released in 2009, though it would be another six years until her next album arrived. ''Echoes in Rain,'' the first of two singles from Enya's eighth album, appeared in September 2015, and the normally reclusive star opened up for a number of interviews and was promoted heavily on social media for the first time. Created with longtime collaborators Roma and Nicky Ryan, Dark Sky Island was released in November of that year.
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