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4.8 out of 5 stars
Watermark
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
HALL OF FAMEon October 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Simply lovely piano instrumentals such as the title track and "Miss Clare Remembers" glide with a calm majesty. They are emotional paintings in an audial museum, tugging at the listener with a sense of wonder.
The haunting Latin "Cursum Perficio" was inspired by an inscription written on the portico of the Brentwood house Marilyn Monroe died in. Loosely translated, it means "my journey ends here." The frenzied part of the song and chorus reflects the whirlwind way in which Marilyn's life ended. "Eternum" is sung four times, and then comes that final chord, signalling her last breath.
The lush instrumentation in "On Your Shore," "Exile," and "Evening Falls" really highlight Enya's vocals. A flute breaks the silence in the second song as a deep contrast from the strings. It really does paint a stark portrait of an exile, especially with the lyrics: "I'll wait the signs to come/I'll find a way/I will wait the time to come/I'll find a way home." Somehow, the exile will come home to his (her) family and friends. These three songs alone is reason enough to get this album.
The lush "Orinoco Flow," which became a #1 single in the UK stands out with its plucked pizzicato strings and vibrant sound. It evokes waterfalls, springs, and sailing into a wondrous fantasy-land. Sail away, sail away, sail away!
"River" is a gentle melodic keyboard instrumental that highlights Enya's talents in other ways. She provides all instrumentation on this album.
The Celtic-sung "The Longships" does evoke the image of the said ships sailing across the Irish Sea, with the pounding drum serving as the beater's drum, which sets the stroke of the oars striking the water.
"Na Laetha Geal M'oige," also sung in Celtic, is a forlorn song, with pipes lending the melancholy atmosphere.
"Storms In Africa II" begins with a clap of thunder and is also sung in English. There's a lot more drumming in this version, and also a part where she sings, accompanied only by the rhythmic pounding of African drums. This is also the version on her Moonshadows video collection. It's better than the first version on the album. Both have that exotic "na-na-na, ne-ne-ne" sound.
A giant leap from the understated Enya album (now called The Celts), Watermark is a watershed and benchmark for the former Clannad vocalist. Enya probably has THE best female vocal ever, even surpassing Sarah Brightman at her best. Watermark only hinted at better things to come.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Enya's Watermark has had its fair share of praise in its shortlifetime since being released in 1988. However, what makes it standout apart from other albums of the same genre, is that it simply defies genre. It could be called 'New Age' just to fit it in somewhere, but its not. Its certainly not pop music, and not even Irish traditional. What it is, though, is sheer magic. What is undisputably the century's finest New Age album, gets better with each repeated hearing. Listeners who are familiar with the works of Loreena McKennitt, Altan, Clannad, or Maire Brennan (Enya's sister, by the way), should already be well versed with the contents of this epic masterpiece. If you aren't, then please treat this as a very very strong recommendation ! Enya has largely stayed out of the public eye, for the most part of her years in the music business. Her first album (titled 'Enya' and re-released 'The Celts' in 1993) set the standard for her later works, but this, her second album is by far her most accomplished work. The title track, a simple, melodious piano piece is definitely one of the most beautiful orchestrations heard on any recent album. Enya always slips in a few music-only pieces in all her albums, and this one is no different. 'Miss Clare remembers' and 'River' are positively radiant - 'River' is one of my personal favorites. 'Cursum Perficio', is a Latin chant that is as haunting as 'Pax Deorum' from 'The Memory of Trees', and far more addictive. 'Watermark''s strengths lie in the slow ballads, and the lush instrumentations. 'On your shore' is highly spiritual, as is 'Evening falls', and both shine. Surprisingly, 'Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)', which was the single that brought Enya to public attention, pales in the face of all the other songs. It is highly 'pop-ish' and while distinctly hummable, I have found myself skipping the track and moving through the rest of the album. Its a pity that most of the world remembers Enya for this one song, when she has so many more fulfilling works to her credit. Many people express their fury at later editions of 'Watermark' not containing an additional track called 'Storms in Africa II', which was available on pressings made in 1988, when the album was first released. One can only guess as to why such a fine composition has been removed from later editions, but if you do wish to find it, try obtaining an Asian edition of 'Watermark' - some Japanese versions of the album still carry the track. The great thing about Watermark, is the continuity. Never is the pace or the melody broken, and the listener is never let down, ever. The closer 'Na Lactha Geal M'Oige' is a beautiful Gaelic song, and one that you'll find yourself learning and singing along to, no matter if you dont know Gaelic. Enya fans will recall 'Smaointe' from her 'Shepherd Moons', instantly, but this track beats that one to the post. Its instantly mesmerising. For those of you who dont have this CD, I can vouch for its absolute must-have property. What was the 80s best New Age album, grew into the 90s best New Age album, and now , in the 2000s, it is still fresh, vibrant, and magical. And thats the hallmark of a classic, wouldn't you say?
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I was a DJ in high school when I happened upon a used cassette of Watermark. I remember picking it up and thinking "oh, this is that singer who has that strange song Orinoco Flow out on the radio." I had only heard Orinoco Flow a few times, but it was getting tons of airplay. I decided to pick it up (even though my tastes in music were totally inapposite to Enya's style). I took the tape home--and I swear--I had to sit down because I was so overwhelmed by what I was hearing. I recall thinking "this is the single most beautiful voice I've ever heard in my life." From that point on, my taste in music changed dramatically. Funny that it all started with ENYA. I played the album for my parents and my siblings and they were equally stunned by its beauty.
Watermark's production is immaculate and showcases Enya at her best (although I like everything she's done). I am amused by the bone-head comments made by Enya-haters who say "this music is sooo boring," or "it is so pretentious." It's like hearing a deaf mute gripe that Mozart's Requiem is dull or self-important. SHUT UP, BE SILENT, and take your tone-deaf selves to the local ska shop! Enya's music is only dull to individuals who have tin ears or are so musically disinclined that the don't know a whole note from a hole in their heads.
I also strongly disagree with people who say that Enya's voice is "weak." She sings in a very traditional style (the style is called sean-nos and is exemplified by aspirated/breathy singing). You'll hear no fake SOUL DIVA sliding (a la Mariah Carey or Crustina Aguilera). That's because the Irish have a traditional singing style that is not influenced by the western classical tradition (or any pseudo-gospel/soul style). Enya's range and almost vibrato-less singing is really incredible. I don't think there are many others who can match her purity of tone (maybe Lisa Gerrard who is almost superhuman).
Anyway, this music changed my entire musical perspective and still moves me to this day. It will always be the most important musical revelation in my life.
If you don't own it, you need to go drop the $2.99 and pick it up :-)
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
There are only a few albums that last year after year after year and "Watermark" is one of them. While there are plenty of subsequent albums from Enya that are great, "Watermark" has some of her best work, from the Latin "Cursum Perficio" to "Orinoco Flow." There isn't one bad cut on this album and the Celtic singing and Latin are hypnotic and mysterious. It's no wonder many of the tunes were used in advertisements--you just have to stop to listen. I love this one.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I had heard "Orinoco Flow" off the Pure Moods CD, and before this, I had never heard Enya. After I did, I looked for other songs of hers, and found this CD. It touched my heart. Usually I am into classical and the more modern songs you hear on the radio, like Madonna and Celine Dion. I have never been to much of a New Age fan. But this just completed me. I am only 14, and yet this just let my soul fly. I don't know why other teenagers get this kick out of rap and hard rock. It seems as if they have no grasp of the deeper things in life. Enya lets me get a grasp of them. Even though I still love "Orinoco Flow", my favorite lyrics are the ones in "Evening Falls..." : "Forever searching; never right, I am lost in oceans of night. Forever hoping I can find memories, those those memories I left behind. Even though I leave, will I go on believing that this time is real - am I lost in this feeling? Like a child passing through, never knowing the reason. I am home - I know the way. I am home - feeling oh, so far away.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Watermark is a unique album, totally fantastic! It's incredible how a person - just 27 years old at that time - was able to create an album like this. I like the whole album, but I have two favourite tracks; the first is one of Enya's greatest hits... yes, of course it's the spectacular Orinoco Flow! The second is Storms In Africa which was a hit too, though a much smaller one. Other songs which I prefer are Cursum Perficio, River and The Long Ships but, as a mentioned before, the whole album is great. The music is from 1988 but that's impossible to hear, it could well have been the music of today.
Here comes a short description of the tracks on Watermark:
1. Watermark - Instrumental; very relaxing
2. Cursum Perficio - Latin; pretty powerfull, special*
3. On Your Shore - English; beautiful, relaxing
4. Storms In Africa - Gaelic; great, wonderful, special*
5. Exile - English; beautiful, pretty calm
6. Miss Clare Remembers - Instrumental; relaxing
7. Orinoco Flow - English; great, powerful, wonderful, special*
8. Evening Falls - English; beautiful, pretty calm
9. River - Instrumental; nice, beautiful
10. The Long Ships - Gaelic; pretty powerful, special*
11. Na Laetha Geal M'óige - Gaelic; calm and relaxing
* Hard to say why these songs are special, but perhaps because they don't sound like any other musical stuff. There's only one person that's able to create songs like these and her name is - Enya. You must hear them, but don't forget to try her remaining albums such as Shepherd Moons and The Memory Of Trees.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I am literally flying away when listening to this magical album. This album is like nothing that Enya has done before or since even though all of her albums are great, even her most recent A Day Without Rain. Unlike the cheerful, sunny romps of that album, Watermark is a rather stormy album. It's the dark, moody, stormy music that makes me love New Age and makes Watermark, in my opinion, Enyas strongest outing to date. Nothing of her latter albums could topple this album even though they are great albums in their own way.
The title track is a stunning piano instrumental with a hounting melody. Things get stormy with the turbulent Cursum Perficio with a stormy grey melody, Gothic chants, and a very medievel sound. The song speeds up at the second half of the song. This is more like two songs in one. Things calm down with the somber On Your Shore with ambient organs, beautiful singing, and relaxing horns that make an upset person feel good again. Storms In Africa is a breathtaking musical journey with a very stormy atmosphere, thundering drums, haunting Gaelic lyrics, a mournful melody, and probably some of Enyas best vocals ever. Exile is one of the best songs Enya has ever recorded. It's kind of like Storms but darker, more mournful, and more calm. This song is like bringing up images of a storm coming and seeing the sun at the edge of the clouds as they roll in. It also has very haunting flutes at the bridge. I enjoy how the song reverts between minor and major notes. If only Enya could produce songs like this again. I hope Enyas follow-up to A Day Without Rain would have a sound like Exile, it could rival this album as my favorite. Miss Clare Remembers is very much like the title track to this album but with just pianos and no electronic synths. A beautiful piece. Orinoco Flow is the popular song that we,ve all heard so I,m not going to explain it in detail but I can say that it is a great song. The part I do love though is the quiet bridge in the middle from 1:50 to 2:10. Evening Falls is a very dark haunting track with ambient synths and some almost church sounding organs. This song is one of the darkest songs Enya has ever recorded. This song alone makes Watermark a five star. This song makes me imagine walking and watching the twilight sunset as nighttime falls. River is absolutely radiant. It's a slightly Orinoco Flow-esque song mainly just with a similar rhythm. It has some of the most amazing synthesizers I,ve ever heard. This is a must hear. The Long Ships is a gem beyond words. It's a very beautiful, intense song with thundering beats, and intense chanting. In contast to saying that Enyas music is soothing this song is an exeption. It's one of Enyas more intense sounding pieces and actually gets me going with it's strong melody, haunting voices, and thundering beats. This is another must hear. Na Leatha Geal M'oige is the winner and probably the most amazing song Enya has ever written. It's a very meloncholy, ambient song with one of the most haunting melodies I,ve ever heard from Enya. Fans of this kind of Enya music should try to find the Japanese version of A Day Without Rain with Isobella on it because it is a very beautiful and could please those who were dissapointed by the more cheerful material on that album. Na Leatha Geal M'Oige has Celtic bagpipes at the middle of the bridge to add a more touching edge to this song. I feel more emotion from the first 30 seconds of this song that I do from The entire A Day Without Rain album. Fabulous work Enya! If only you could return to this kind of sound again I would be pleased. The closing track is a reprise of Storms In Africa. This version is more intense, has a louder drum and is sung in English. This version probably could surpass the original. This version appears only in the U.S. version of Watermark.
This is the best Enya CD ever and could rank as one of my all time favorite New Age albums ever. I can sense more talent coming out of the first 30 seconds of Evening Fall, or Exile than from Janet Jacksons entire All For You album.
A very cool idea I thought up of is maybe someday Enya could collaborate with my other favorite new age musician Patrick O'Hearn and create an album with a sound very much like Watermark but with the electronic keyboards of O'Hearns sound similar to his first three albums. It would be a best-seller and could shatter new grounds for both artists. I can smell it.
Anyway this is Enyas strongest collection of songs to date. I highly recommend this CD to all music fans. This is very intellegent music that only ignorant people could pass up.
Well that's all I can say now.
Good Bye!
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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It's simply a masterpiece. My guess is that people will be listening to this music 100 years from now and it will still be available for purchase.
I bought the tape several years ago, which has different titles than the CD by the same name. I liked it even more than the CD version.
For months I used to listen to the title track each night as I went to sleep. Simply amazing! It would often bring tears to my eyes.
Although it was the song that brought me to her music, I have finally tired of Orinoco Flow (Sail Away.) It is the only song that I've tired of, and I listen to her CD's constantly.
I hesitate to say that Watermark is her best album because in Enya's case, each one is a masterpiece. Five stars? How about five galaxies!
As I read other people's comments and the beautiful expereinces that they have while listening, it reminds me a bit of the many miracles Jesus performed. His ability was to give to each person what they needed. Enya's music does much the same. Although she'd never say it, Enya is a living master, one of the all time gifts from God.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I normally don't listen to much new-age type music, and tend to spend my time with alternative and classic rock, but I can't get enough "Enya". Possibly my first exposure to her was in the early 90's watching the movie "Green Card". As good as the film was, it was the music of "Enya" that made it. Since then I have gotten "Watermark", "Shephard Moons", and "Paint The Sky With Stars", and easily like this the most. Every track here is an absolute must, and it's one of the few albums I own that I actually take the time to lay on the couch and just listen to. It's so peaceful. Also, though "Orinoco Flow" is her most popular song, and I've heard it a thousand times, it still never gets old. The whole thing is just timeless. It's an album I always must have with me, which is why I have it on CD, cassette, and vinyl.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ten years ago I managed to pick up a case of clinical depression. Had trouble dealing with a business partner who took me all the way down. Finally I ran into this miraculous music. I knew Orinoco Flow going in but to my amazement I loved many songs far more. The ineffable divine perfection of these songs left me with tears of joy and gratitude streaming and I mean these were the first tears I had shed in my entire adult life. I mark the first time I heard this CD as the turning point that broke my depression.
If you know someone who needs healing forget the cards, the flowers and the chicken soup. This is the real deal.
The singing, instrumentals, concepts and emotions are all so strong their titanic dueling leaves you in an overwhelmed state of euphoria, struggling to grasp the fullness of the achievement.
Shepherd Moon and Watermark are simply perfection to last the ages. No music library is complete without them. Some of her other works while no less masterful are better recommended to those who already appreciate Celtic New Age or those who have already heard Shepherd Moon and Watermark.
Buy this CD and you are in presence of genius. This is Michelangelo, DaVinci level greatness. This is not hyperbole. Even if you are made of stone you will literally weep for joy.
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