I’ve spoken on previous blogs before, about how my taste in music has been inherited from various different sources over the years. Quite a lot of that is thanked in part to my parents. Some of it I’m happy to admit a love for (Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles), and others I’m partly cautious to admitting.
See all the following albums, the large majority of which were always playing in our house as we were growing up: Phil Collins’ “…But Seriously”, Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms”, The Corrs’ “Talk on Corners”. And also see “Paint the Sky with Stars”, and “A Day Without Rain”, both by the Irish chanteuse and instrumentalist Enya.
So why am I ‘cautious’ in admitting my love of the likes of ‘Only Time’ and ‘Caribbean Blue’, and the others I listed above? Well, it’s not so much that those artists or albums are guilty pleasures. Far from it. It’s just that they seem to be the sort of artists who are the scourge, again as I’ve often spoken about on here, of the ‘serious’ music press.
Enya, in particular, is often mocked for perpetually releasing the same album, musically speaking, and is often bracketed somewhat unfairly with the ‘New Age’ tag, and for releasing, as one critic writing for Rolling Stone put it, the ‘kind of albums you should only be listening to if you are in a herbal mud wrap at a health spa’.
This is a highly unfair testimony to her and her music though. Whilst a lot of her albums do carry a distinctive sound that is hers (something her and her long time collaborators, husband and wife team Nicky and Roma Ryan have worked hard to capture and define) – a mellow, harmonious multi layering of string and synth tracks, and choral vocal pads with staccato-y effects, she can traverse out to other, worldly inspired sounds.
Take for instance, ‘Book of Days’, her 1993 love theme from the Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise movie ‘Far and Away’ – a lusciously cinematic piece that captures the drama of the film. Also take ‘My! My! Time Flies!’, a decidedly more blues-y swinging number with more than just a passing nod to ‘Strawberry Fields’ era Beatles. Or even the heartbreakingly beautiful ‘Fallen Embers’.
It is this nod to another genres whilst maintaining her own unique identity that means she has sold over 70m albums worldwide in the last 20 years – that’s more than Madonna, Lady GaGa, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston put together. And she’s done all that whilst barely touring and keeping a tight degree of anonymity.
It thus explains why she’s known to take much longer extended breaks between albums. However, having had both the above albums of hers I grew up with my parents playing on again in the last few days on my Blinkbox Music account, I feel that, nearly 7 years since her last album (2008’s ‘…And Winter Came’) it’s time for the most enigmatic lady in pop to make a return to the charts.
So go on. Tweet her record company Warner Brothers (@wbr) today people – let’s get the campaign to #BringBackEnya on a roll (or Orinoco flow, depending on how you look at it).