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on June 9, 2001
When I look at all of these reviews, I am very surprised that even some loyal Enya fans don't understand the beauty of this album. While there are amny positive reviews, there are too many shameful ones. This music should not be labeled as repetitive and tiresome, but ethereal and graceful(I'm tired of that, "Beautiful as always, but...." review). Let me explain the meaning of this music.
Shepherd Moons- This track is very soothing and heavenly. It was inspired by the shepherd moons that keep Saturn's rings together. The soft sounds of the piano and Enya's voice creates a star-like atmosphere.
Caribbean Blue- I have never heard a song better than this song. The beautiful lyrics of Roma Ryan and the unique melody by Enya makes this song the most beautiful I've ever heard. Her voice is a unique feature itself. The ending isn't really repetitive as people say it is, but sung in Latin. I first heard this song on a preview for "Elizabeth" and I've loved it ever since.
How Can I Keep From Singing?- This song not only brings a cathedral-like atmosphere, but also has very inspirational lyrics. The song is an old Shaker hymn and was used because long ago the Shakers sent food to Ireland during the potato famine. It's very spiritual and soothing to listen to.
Ebudae- This song is based on a waulking song from the Hebrides(which in the ancient times was known as Ebudae). The percussion by Enya gives a lively beat.
Angeles- A song that reminds us that sometimes we feel like we need a guardian angel. It also sounds very cathedral-like, but also with the smooth harmony of the clarinet.
No Holly For Miss Quinn- This is one of my favorites. The piano music is so gentle and moving. It is instrumental, but I often picture words. My grandmother, who is a music teacher, once listened to this and said that Enya plays very smoothly from one measure to the other(only she said that it sounds more like a synthesizer than real piano).
Book of Days- Another all time favorite. It has many melodies and harmonies. The lyrics are so inspiring. The album now has the version from the movie, "Far And Away". I've never heard the instrumental version before, but I love the lyrics.
Evacuee- This is a very poignant song. It was inspired by a documentary about World War II. The lyrics express sadness and hope alike. The music is also very soothing, with the cornet accomniant.
Lothlorien- Another lovely instrumental song. I've read it was inspired by "Lord of the Rings". The piano and synthetic background sounds very enchanting and dramatic.
Marble Halls- One of Enya's best, it's an aria from an opera by an Irish composer. I adore the lyrics because it gives the message that it is love, not wealth and popularity, that matters. I also love Enya's vocals, as always.
Afer Ventus- which is pronounced as Af-ehr Veyn-toos, for those of you who don't know Latin that well. I so love the gentle chords and melody, as well as the the enchanting Latin lyrics. You can't resist the ehtereal vocals of Enya. She sings the main verses and a running verse, so you get to here other words going along with the main words. It sounds so much like a dream.
Smaointe- This is Gaelic for "thoughts", because it is a song that remembers lost loved ones. Enya reflects her many deep thoughts through graceful melodies and Roma Ryan's sympathetic lyrics. It also has lovely uillean pipe music by Liam O'Flynn.
And that's what I have to say about Enya's songs. In addition, I've always noticed comparisons with Loreena McKennitt. You should be aware of the fact that these artists each do their own type of music. Enya uses keyboards and multi-vocals, with a church-like sound. Loreena uses many different instruments and uses a more folk/world music sound. I listen to tons of many other artists, so before you decide whose better, just listen to more types of music(you can click on my name if you'd like to see me name a few). Also people keep saying that Loreena has a "stronger" voice. Last fall, I had the opportunity to take choir lessons at my highschool and since then I've had a better understanding of voices. It seems to me that both Enya and Loreena sing in the mezzo-soprano range. Loreena does very well with style and expression, but Enya is more focused on smooth, gentle, sweet sounds, which is also very good. So just get this album and any other Celtic, New Age, or Classical album you can. So please sit back and relax and enjoy this music while you can.
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VINE VOICEon June 16, 2006
Shepherd moons was my first introduction to Enya back in 1991. Her style and haunting voice rooted themselves in my soul ever since then and the song called Caribbean Blue still stops me in my tracks everything I have the pleasure of hearing it. It must be one of my favorite musical pieces ever for you see blue in front of your eyes as you hear it, the Atlantic waves on a beach at night or with sun light shining through like columns of light all the way down till they disappear to the abyss. Her music has the rare gift of powerful visuals they project in the listener.

New Age is so easy to like, with its non threatening characteristics it can be enjoyed at any time of day or in any mood. Shepherd Moons is one of Enya's best compilations and probably most popular among people who are loosely familiar with her. This CD is romantic in a mysteriously beautiful way, its not cloying and cheesy but both soft and powerful. The lovely thing about this album is all the different types of Enyas music you get. There are the soft ballads, the sultry pieces and deep catchy tunes, the sensual ancient Latin songs, and earthy tracks such as Book of Days That makes you feel as if on a galloping on a horse through secret passages and forests.

I absolutely love this CD, and honestly I haven't written a review of it in the past fifteen years but putting it on two days ago really enchanted me and I'm still under awe of this glorious CD to the point where I had to share some of my adoration for it.
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on May 13, 2005
This is yet another great Enya CD! Her music is so soothing & angelic that it can actually make you feel as if you're in Heaven!

Enya's music has the ability to touch the soul - something I wish more artists could do.

This CD is perfect to relax and unwind with. Also, for those who enjoy meditating, I found this CD to be very helpful in achieving that extremely relaxed state we all try to achieve.
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on September 16, 2001
I always turn to this song when something goes really wrong in my life. It has given me such comfort many times. Yesterday, I was driving to Dallas, feeling profoundly sad over the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I had forgotten about this hymn, and when it played, i understood it in a whole new way. Just the lyrics alone are worth memorizing, but Enya, as only Enya can do, conveys such sadness and hope and comfort when she sings.
My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations. / I hear a real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing / It sounds an echo in my soul / How can I keep from singing? / While though the tempest loudly roars / I hear the truth, it liveth / And though the darkness round me close / Songs in the night, it giveth / No storm can shake my inmost calm / While to that rock I'm clinging / Since love is lord of heaven and earth / How can I keep from singing?
I never really cared for the last two stanzas, but now, today, I understand them.
When tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can i keep from singing? / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?
Instead of "prison cells...", I thought of those who lost their lives that terrible day.
The rest of the songs on this CD are wonderful, too.
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on February 21, 2001
The music in Shepherd Moons is easier to play than Memory of Trees. An advanced player could easily sightread the music; therefore, it is not a challenging book. However, the music is gorgeous and fun to play. I've been playing it every day since I bought the book last week.
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on March 10, 2000
This is a really good music book. Shepherd Moons is my favorite Enya album and now I have fun playing the music. I'velearned how to play No Holly For Miss Quinn very well. This music is at first hard to play(which shows how advanced her music is)but if you stretch your hands and practive often, you may be able to play very well.
Enya's music is very well arranged. The music often smoothly changes key majors and flows from measure to measure. People studying music theory will probably like to look at this book and see Enya's structure of music. Any critic of her music should get this book and see how well written her music is. It's very nicely done.
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on October 12, 1999
I've been a great fan of Enya for the past few years and it was only recently that I came across this album of hers produced in 1991 (shame on me!). As always, she's a great musician and vocalist and captures wonderfully a night under Shepard Moons. However, you kinda get bored of the whole CD after a while - not all of them really capture your attention, like tunes from her later albums and '88 tour de force "Watermark". Still, most of the songs are truly magnificant. If you get this CD, listen out for "Ebudae", "Marble Halls", "Carribean Blue", "Afer Ventus" and, especially, "Smaointe". It took her great effort to write this 6-minute song of hers (it's her longest song yet!), and great skill, for its ambience surprisingly carries you through the song rather well! Yup, definitely worth looking out for nonetheless - if you're an avid Enya fan, buy this CD still. But if you've never heard her music, this wouldn't give you a very good initial impression of her; try her other records like "Watermark", "The Celts (a must-hear)" or "The Memory of Trees". Once you think you're prepared for the power of her true music, GRAB, BEG OR STEAL "Paint the Sky with Stars"! Enjoy!
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I am fond of an eclectic range of music, and Enya solidly anchors one of the extremes with her delicately crafted vocals and the airy and often ethereal music that supports her vocals. "Shepherd Moons" was released three years after her previous album, "Watermark," which propelled her to fame, largely on the success of "Orinoco Flows." "Shepherd Moons" was even more successful than "Watermark," perhaps because Enya's MTV videos were creative and unique and generated an audience that would not usually have been exposed to her music. However, "Shepherd Moons" shows that once the market was established fans were more than willing to purchase similar music.

The opening piece is largely instrumental with Enya's voice supporting the instruments. This music is simple, quiet and contemplative, led by a piano. "Shepherd Moons" fades slowly and the relatively lengthy fadeout provides a strong contrast with the more enthusiastic and catchy "Caribbean Blue," a dreamy song of filmy vocals and instruments with a lovely Latin introduction and exit. The repetitive-sounding exit is actually an overlay:

...Eurus...

Afer Ventus...

...Boreas

Zephyrus...

...Africus...

The next song presages the song Enya created for the Lord of the Rings. "How Can I Keep from Singing" is Enya's beautiful voice with a minimum of instrumental support. The mood of this song is somber, nearly ironic, as it extols the value of singing through the various tribulations of life.

The following song changes the pace dramatically. "Ebudæ" appears to be sung in Irish Gaelic and makes a great listen, though I am unable to understand a word. The following song returns to an ethereal theme. "Angeles" is about angels and divine intervention. The airy and swooping vocals and instruments and harmonies provide this song with its own angelic feeling. This song leads to the second instrumental, "No Holly for Miss Quinn." As with the first instrumental, a piano is the principal instrument, and the composition is very classical.

"Book of Days" again changes the pace, speeding up over the three previous songs, and relying on Irish Gaelic words, which are just out of reach of understanding and make you listen harder to the words. This song is most enthusiastic song on this CD and is glorious for Enya allowing her vocals to be relatively more powerful and stronger than on most of the other songs.

The pace changes again with "Evacuee." This song seems to evoke the evacuation program followed in the British Isles during the war. During this program children were sent to the country in an attempt to keep them from German bombs and missiles. This moving song catches the moment of goodbye, from the last hug until the train pulls out of the station.

"Lothlórien" is the final instrumental, again piano-led, though this time with additional instrument support. The next song is "Marble Halls," which is a fairy tale of knights and maidens and longing for a true love lost. Enya's voice reaches beautiful emotional highs and makes me want to watch an old movie about King Arthur.

The last two songs are in two different languages. "Afer Ventus" is in Latin and "Smaointe" is in Irish Gaelic. The former song is a brisk overlay of beautiful vocals, wherein the quiet emotions are well communicated by the tone of the words rather than by the meaning. The last song seems to be about those lost, perhaps from our presence, but not from our thoughts. Once again, the vocals sketch an aural picture that is sufficiently strong that a listener need not understand the words.

The beauty of Enya's music is that it is instantly timeless. The music is neo-classical, influenced by a variety of sources. If you listen to "Orinoco Flow" or any of Enya's music from the 80s through today you will find it impossible to attribute her music to any particular decade. Some may consider whether one Enya album is any better than any other, but I have found that each album has its own strengths, and I like each for their content. Comparisons are unnecessary and undesirable. Let the music speak for itself.
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on April 6, 1999
This book contains some of the best modern music for the piano at an easy level.
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on July 4, 1998
This music sheet compilation of Enya's album of the same title includes forward by Roma Ryan. It also has brief background information to each and every song. I learnt to play my first Enya piece 'No Holly For Miss Quinn' from this book. Highly recommended for those who wish to play and sing Enya's songs on piano or guitar. No pictures. END
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