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The Memory of Trees

4.7 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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The Memory Of Trees
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Audio CD, March 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Certified at 3 million units by the RIAA. (3/00)

Amazon.com

To many people, Enya has become synonymous with new age music. Her haunting voice, clear and crisp above richly woven musical arrangements and adaptations, represents some of the best in the genre. Her performances on The Memory of Trees justify the Celtic songster's reputation. Songs like "China Roses" and "Hope Has a Place" complement the simple elegance of traditional folk music with luxuriantly layered instrumentation and highly crafted studio production. The ultimate effect is dazzling, to be sure. Whether she sings in English, Gaelic, or Latin, Enya conveys a profound, if slightly disconcerting, mix of spirituality and sensuality. --L.A. Smith
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: March 23, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B000002N3N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,429 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Who knows why I initially considered this to be a duff album by the woman with the most beautiful voice in the world. Maybe I was expecting Shepherd's Moon Part II and saw Memory Of Trees as Shepherd's Eclipse. The songs didn't leap out to me? Well, listening to it for this review, it finally did, and I've embraced it like I have her other albums. The four years inbetween albums was worth it.
Of the opening instrumental title tracks, "The Memory Of Trees" is the most potent, sporting the usual instrumentals, pianos, haunting wall-of-sound choir-like vocals, pounding drums recalling "The Longships" from Watermark.
The brisk "Anywhere Is", whose dominant tempo reminds me of a horse having a gentle canter down a park, is backed by strings and backing vocals. There's an interesting motif in the first line of her reaching a horizon but finding another, where something that looks like an end is actually a new beginning. Bit like life, isn't it?
"Pax Deorum" is a Latin track begins with a cold dark wind, which sets the grim bass pulsing keyboard permeating throughout the song, as well as an ominous sound that sounds a bit like a foghorn, though not as loud or brash. This part sounds a bit like an incantation. Her voice alternates between a soft but lower register and her full vocals.
The piano (and later some other instrument) ballad "Athair Ar Neamh" is a sad but beautiful sung tune, full of yearning. Makes me want to learn Gaelic. My favourite song here, and Enya sounds her best singing like this.
The wistful, reflective piano only instrumental "From Where I Am" is a variation of "Miss Clare Remembers" from Watermark, with some shades of "Epona" from the Enya album.
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2 Comments 67 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on October 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
All of Enya's past albums have all been very solemn CDs, with songs that capture very peaceful moods. I've loved all of them, but THIS is one heck of a great change! It still holds Enya's theme of peace and a world in fantasy where everything's practically what it should be, or even better, but kinda jolts the listener with a more vibrant tone and, not to mention, RHYTHM! I enjoy ALL the tracks on this album (which has proved quite amazing considering my high standards for an avid fan of Enya's), and I'd practically WANT everyone to have a go at it! Listen out, especially, for "Anywhere Is (absolutely WONDERFUL)", "Tea-House Moon (a solemn yet catchy instrumental recital)", "Pax Deorum (kinda gives you an eerie feeling, nonetheless it gets Enya's message across)" and, most of all, "On My Way Home". On "Paint the Sky with Stars", you can only catch the shortened 3-minute version of this song; catch the original, full-length 5-minute version on this CD (that would make this song her second longest, down from "Smoainte" from 1991's "Shepard Moons"). It includes more instrumentation in a never-before-caught song bridge; and more life in its chorus. Enya has boasted great skill in producing this album, especially in writing the latter track - definitely something to look out for for EVERYONE and not just Enya fans!
Comment 40 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Many times, AND WITH GOOD REASON, the "new age" label gets slammed for lacking originality and conviction. Enya is not an artist who blends in with the rest and this release is, in my opinion, her best to date.
There is certainly an ethereal quality associated with new age and Enya is certainly a new age artist, but she has strong writing skills and gorgeous and very unique voice that sets her apart from her peers. And if you look at what is being released these days, many groups are ripping off elements of her uniqueness and plastering them on down tempo songs with session singers who do an ok job of copying Enya, but don't reach the depths of beauty and passion that only Enya seems to find.
What makes this a 5-star review for me is that the songs work independently and even better as a cohesive set that keeps you involved and feeling like you are living in an even better world than this one we know. I know this sounds ridiculous, but take this review from someone who usually prefers an entirely different type of music. Al the songs are great and although this CD can be great background music, it works even better when it's in the forefront of your attention because the production work is so masterful.
Many artists/fans are critical of the work that the producer brings to the table, but I am always very appreciative when the final product does not sound like it was manufactured by an assembly line, but rather reflects a balance of the artist's intent with the listener in mind.
Thanks for reading and I would like to thank ALL reviewers as their opinions (even when I disagree) give me clues as to what I may like and even more importantly provide exposure to artists who I may have missed if it were not for work. Also, thanks to Amazon.com for providing this forum as I think that it clearly benefits the company, but ultimately it also can be a great place for a potential buyer to find his or her next favorite CD.
Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
The problem with Enya is that she is so consistently good. It is difficult to write a review that says something different from previous reviews (having recently reviewed "A Day without Rain" and previously "Watermark"). The same words, ethereal, ephemeral, airy, haunting, and spiritual apply to each album. The only risk is that my reviews become boring, because Enya could never be.

This CD begins with the instrumental track "The Memory of Trees." While "The Memory of Trees" is nominally an instrumental, there are voices that punctuate portions of the music. This opening feels optimistic, though the title feels as though it is vaguely related to forests and lands gone by. The vocals provide a chorale sound that builds and cascades around you with the feeling of great trees and landscapes greater than any of the puny works of mankind. Great beasts wander about and smaller beasts enter and exit the brush at the edges of clearings in the great forest in a celebration of nature.

The pace speeds up in the peppy "Anywhere Is." The lyrics are poetic and symbolic and are a mirror maze of mental images. As is frequently typical of Enya the lyrics seem to make sense until you attempt to understand them and then their meaning escapes your grasp. In this case the song seems to be describing the paths we take in life and the choices that we make, and whether they can be unmade, and even whether the choices take us to or from the one we love. Another unusual feature of this song is the predominant instruments which compete for attention with Enya's voice. Typically Enya's voice stands out clearly from the instruments, which in this case are mostly strings and piano.

"Pax Deorum" is somewhat ominous, and fits with the following song, "Athair Ar Neamh.
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2 Comments 13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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