Enya’s ‘Dark Sky Island’: Review Revue

Robbie Daw | November 20, 2015 2:35 pm

While this particular Friday (November 20) may seem like it’s all about Adele, another brilliant album by an angelic-voiced pop goddess from overseas was released today and is receiving impressive reviews across the board. Enya‘s first LP in seven years, Dark Sky Island, is now out there now, and if you’re looking for a bit of musical respite in these distressing times the globe we inhabit is wrapped up in, this just might be it.

Below, we’ve rounded up what all the Internet has to say about Enya’s latest album of dreamy enchantment. See what the critics had to say, then let us know your own thoughts on Dark Sky Island!

:: Newsday notes the serendipity of Enya’s new album arriving in these troubling days: “Enya’s timing is perfect. Dark Sky Island, her first album in seven years, arrives in a chaotic, increasingly violent time, following the terrorist attacks in Paris. Enya’s lush, peaceful soundscapes provide a much-needed balm that soothes without boring.”

:: Says Pitchfork, “Her first two albums, Enya and Watermark, are much more digressive and rhythmically diverse than her later work, including Dark Sky Island; for every gentle, shapeless ballad, there would be exercises in more precise, classical forms, or a song would unfold into a more distracted rhythm. Most of her songs since have been subject to a merciless symmetry. She drifts somewhat out of her aesthetic on Dark Sky Island‘s ‘Even In The Shadows’, which pulses like an artery from the double bass playing of Eddie Lee; as a result, it’s one of the best songs on the record.”

:: The Evening Standard says the following in its four-star review: “Stripped down, ‘The Humming’, ‘The Forge Of The Angels’ and the rest, would be pretty pop songs, but with a production vision every bit as inspired as Phil Spector’s, these songs built up with layer upon layer of vocals (some in Roma Ryan’s invented language, Loxian), layer upon layer of instrumentation and layer upon layer of luxurious, uplifting, undeniably spiritual warmth. Magnificent, in every sense.”

:: The Irish Times also gives Dark Sky Island four stars: “Her vocal power seems to increase as years go by; on ‘So I Could Find My Way’ it manages to be both frail and strong. The song ‘Even In The Shadows’ retains a sense of urgency, with layers of vocal and electronics building up to something tremendous, and her touchstones of folk, church music and traditional Irish haunt subtly, illuminating the celestial ‘Sancta Maria’, and, indeed, the work as a whole. Nourishing and immersive.”

:: The Atlantic gives in to the charms of Enya’s first album in seven years: “Dark Sky Island might not be as obviously resonant as Shepherd Moons, or Watermark; it arrives, too, in an era that’s probably far too dark and twisty to appreciate her work with any kind of earnest effort. But maybe not. Maybe Enya can soothe a weary, overworked, smartphone-addicted, EDM-exhausted populace with her Latin chants and Gaelic grace. Regardless, she’s back, and as the woman herself would say, hallelujah.”

:: The McGill Tribune sums it all up with this: “Irish singer-songwriter, Enya, is all alone. In a music industry filled with electronic, pop, and alternative sounds, each battling for their right to be heard by an audience intent on new, it’s a breath of fresh air when recording artists who sound like absolutely nothing else are still making music. It’s amazing how timeless Enya’s sound is: Above a whimsical mix of Celtic and New Age-revival, her ethereal vocals float through the songs like clouds through the skies.”

Enya is back! Have you checked out her new album yet? Let us know below, or by hitting us up on Facebook and Twitter!