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Enya - And Winter Came

Enya, And Winter Came

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

TWO years in the making, Enya’s seventh studio album And Winter Came was originally envisaged as a Christmas themed collection of songs – and doesn’t it show.

There’s a very real danger, when listening, that her latest will be a little too niche – and the type of album that only gets played once a year.

There’s also a stark contrast in style throughout – falling between the painfully slow and stripped back, to the upbeat and fully-rounded.

Enya’s style is such that she always – to my mind – sounds better in small doses for fear of sounding a little too one-note. And Winter Came merely heightens that feeling. When it’s good, it can be breathtakingly beautiful. But there are some serious lulls, or moments when the album becomes ponderous.

Of the highlights, White Is In The Winter Night offers the album’s first real gem – a warm celebration of all things Christmas (misteltoe, candle light, holly, etc) that finds Enya’s vocals impossibly optimistic and working perfectly in tandem with her orchestral sound.

In contrast, but no less memorable, is the foreboding O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which is haunting, thought-provoking and almost cinematic in delivery.

Former single Trains And Winter Rains is another beauty, a beguiling piece of songwriting that underlines all of Enya’s strengths, while One Toy Soldier combines both a playful innocence with heartbreaking moments of melancholy (“one toy soldier on his own… he keeps the beat of marching feet” juxtaposed with lyrics such as “he’s one small toy for one small boy but his heart is oh so blue”).

My! My! Time Flies is another success – the closest thing to pop you’ll find on the album and an interesting change of direction that catches you pleasantly off-guard.

But at other moments, And Winter Came is likely to receive a much more frosty reception.

Songs like Journey Of The Angels, while certainly assured, are a little too mellow and a little too Christmas focused.

Dreams Are More Precious, meanwhile, almost threatens to go into something that Celine Dion might have penned for the Titanic soundtrack (and that’s just not wanted), while Stars And Midnight Blue also could have benefited from the fuller bodied orchestral sound of the album at its best.

Final track Oiche Chiuin (or Silent Night) draws things to a really rather holy close that’s nicely delivered for a Christmas Eve comedown track – but a disappointing end to the album given that it follows in the wake of My! My!….

And Winter Came is, therefore, an album that – like its name suggests – contains some moments of beauty (like a frosty sunrise), but others to leave you depressed (like a wet and rainy winter’s day).

Download picks: White Is In The Winter Night, Trains And Winter Rains, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, One Toy Soldiers, My! My! Time Flies!

Track listing:

  1. And Winter Came…
  2. Journey Of The Angels
  3. White Is In The Winter Night
  4. O Come O Come Emmanuel
  5. Trains And Winter Rains
  6. Dreams Are More Precious
  7. Last Time By Moonlight
  8. One Toy Soldier
  9. Stars And Midnight Blue
  10. Spirit Of Christmas Past
  11. My My Time Flies
  12. Oiche Chiuin

  1. Why didn’t the reviewer mention the glorious Last Time By Moonlight?

    Jaime Prater    Nov 28    #