The latest from Enya builds from all the basic themes of her almost 15 years of solo albums. (Hard to believe that long a time has passed!) And like all those albums before, or at least from "Watermark" on, the formula stays the same. Highly polished dreamscapes meant to evoke moods, mostly of the relaxed and contented variety. As "Only Time" proved in the aftermath of 9/11, music that aims to calm can still bring beauty to a tragic situation, and peace to troubled hearts.
The opening three songs of "A Day Without Rain" could easily be the best ten minutes of music Enya has ever performed. And I, for one, will not moan over the disc's brevity. Better to have a half hour of near perfect artwork than to have it marred by extraneous filler. (Example, the wretched "radio mix" of "Only Time" that crowbarred a hip-hop rhythm track in a ploy to make it airwave friendly.) It takes Enya up to five years to craft her records, and almost to a T, they come out fully formed, seamless whole pieces. If I want more, I always have well worn copies of her other CD's to slip into the disc player.
"A Day Without Rain" does contain one jarring surprise, the dark "Tempus Vernum." It will surprise many who view Enya as little more than the empress of bland, as the breif latin chant breaks the surface calm of the album with something a little more stirring. It caught me off gaurd enough that it has become one of my favorite moments on the album, and one of the few times on an Enya album where she breaks the formula. It still makes me hungry for more albums, but I guess I still will have to wait another five years!