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Amarantine

4.2 out of 5 stars 387 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The first album in five years from Enya follows the biggest-selling album of her illustrious career, the six-times platinum A Day Without Rain, which transcended all commercial expectations. Having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, Enya is one of the most successful female artists of all time and second only to U2 as the biggest selling Irish artist in history.

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From the first blanket of choral voices awash in reverb, Amarantine is instantly recognizable as a product of Enya, the Irish chanteuse who has created a genre unto herself. Although it's been five years since her last CD, on Amarantine it's as if time stood still. The triumvirate of Enya, lyricist Roma Ryan, and producer Nicky Ryan work the formula they perfected on Watermark, layering her voice in lush choirs pushed along by pizzicato synth strings, swooning orchestral pads, and harpsichord arpeggios. On tracks like "Less Than a Pearl" and "Drifting," Enya flirts with a timeless sound born in gothic chants and hymns. The former is one of three songs that she sings in Roma Ryan's fictitious language of Loxian. It seems to free her, especially on "The River Sings," a veritable rave-up where she gets the tribal choir going in the style of Scottish mouth music. But to get there you have to slog through slo-mo ballads that manage to be dirge-like and singsong at the same time, like the Carpenters on Quaaludes. The relatively restrained arrangement of "It's in the Rain" almost attains a folk-like simplicity that Enya hasn't experienced since she sang with her siblings in Clannad a quarter-century ago. Amarantine sounds like it was born in cloistered solitude, self-referentially echoing Enya albums past. --John Diliberto

More Enya


The Celts

Watermark

Shepherd Moons

The Memory of Trees

A Day Without Rain

Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000B8QEYC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,546 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Lord, I can hear the cynics & naysayers now...they are gonna LOVE this one. But we'll get to that (briefly) later.

For those of us who knew what quality music was way back in 1986, we suspected upon hearing THE CELTS that a new & vital talent had been sprung upon the world, and with each successive CD, Enya has proven one thing repeatedly: When you find a formula that works, sticking with it is usually a wise thing to cement a devoted fan base. For me, several elements fell together that held me spellbound from the moment I heard my first Enya track (Boadicea) on a radio program called Music from the Hearts of Space: Beautiful use of electronic keyboards. Beautiful songs varying in nature from upbeat ditties to the most heartbreakingly haunting ballads. And, of course, that beautiful, angelic voice, used as a solo instrument unto itself and multi-tracked into the most heavenly of choirs...I'd never heard an artist use her voice in that manner since the days of Jon Anderson, both as a vocalist with Yes and a collaborator with Vangelis. That formula, probably to no one's surprise, thrives and survives on Amarantine. To be honest and fair, the previously alluded-to cynics & naysayers will sigh and say, "...just another Enya disc." Let them say what they will. Dedicated Enya fans such as myself will, I am certain, LOVE this new recording and sing its praises for years to come.

The opening track, Less Than A Pearl, is a classic opening Enya track, with a majestic chorus of "Ahhh's" that will have you singing along with her immediately. The title piece: there's the hit single formula again, with the pizzicato electronic strings and the typical light melody--sure to be another in her string of hits & instantly likeable.
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Format: Audio CD
Fans have been crying for an album from Enya (born Eithne Ni Bhraonáin) for five dry years since "A Day Without Rain" gave us the huge single "Only Time".

The magical team Enya, comprising Enya (the composer/performer), Nicky Ryan (producer) and Roma Ryan (lyrics), does not disappoint with "Amarantine", a gorgeous album and a beautiful single. The only problem with this album is that it's only twelve songs long, which won't keep us going for another five years.

Mostly in English this time, three tracks are written in a new language similar to Elvish from "The Lord of the Rings", so there's no need to adjust your headphones or fiddle with your equalizer if you don't get some of the lyrics.

Other than "Amarantine", the song "It's In the Rain" is the most memorable, evoking memories of "Only Time". All the tracks are good, but the other stand outs are "The River Sings" (one of the Loxian language songs); "Long Long Journey" and "Someone Said Goodbye".

A must-buy for any Enya or Clannad fan.

Amanda Richards, November 26, 2005
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Format: Audio CD
I'm one of Enya's dedicated fans, but it doesn't mean that everyhing she does is automatically fantastic and superb in my ears. I could be critical towards her if there would be a reason, but fortunately, there hasn't been reason yet. "The Memory of Trees" was a bit of a let-down for me, but still a good record.

And so it's her 6th one, "Amarantine". Actually I consider it to be one her Top 3, only "Watermark" and "Shepherd Moons" ahead. So all of these negative reviews here from 'the dedicated fans' have amazed me. It seems that there are two different "Amarantine" copies in circulation, because it's beyond my comprehension how anyone can give this record a one star and still love Enya's previous works.

Enya is enya, she's doing music which has her character all over it. If she would change her style, that would not be Enya anymore. And what kind of changes in her style she is supposed to make? A country record perhaps? Or techno? Please... Those who find her repetitive, I think it's a bit too late to say it after the 6th album. I would have stopped listening her ten years ago, and not bothered to try her albums anymore.

And this album is no way "A Day Without Rain part II". Many things have changed from that record. There is only one instrumental this time, when others had three. There is no Latin, but Japanese and Loxian, a totally new language created by a lyricist Roma Ryan. All songs Enya sang by Loxian are quite different in styles than on "A Day Without Rain". "Less Than a Pearl" could have been on "The Celts" album, "The River Sings" is a bit like "Ebudae" from "Shepherd Moons". "Water Shows the Hidden Heart" is one of Enya's finest moments in her whole career. I think she has not made anything similar before.
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Format: Audio CD
Enya comes back after a five year-long musical hiatus with an album that surpasses the quality and depth of "A Day Without Rain" and one that results a tad less commercial than it. However, it's not without formulas. It goes back to the tried-and-true Enya blend of Celtic and New Age that she has continued to refine since her "Orinoco Flow" days, yet one that most of us continue to enjoy.

This time around, she has departed from her previous work in one respect: three of the tracks are sung in Loxian, an imaginary Elvish-like language created by her longtime lyrical partner, Roma Ryan. The overall result in the album sticks with you and is bound to make of "Amarantine" as big a success as its predecessor was. Still, I am going to give it 4.5 (and not 5) stars, since it still lacks innovation.
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