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Music Review: Enya – And Winter Came

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Though I know it's a bit after the holidays, this CD is one that can exist after the holidays.

Enya released And Winter Came in November 2008 after two years of work. And for a person who has an allergic reaction to the typical shopping mall style of holiday music, this was a breath of fresh air. I've loved Enya's music since she released Watermark back in 1989. Her haunting Celtic flavored tunes have graced my CD collection for years.

So, when And Winter Came I was only a little apprehensive about Enya's spin on holiday music. Was I right in being apprehensive? Not a bit.

Though the album was initially planned as a collection of Christmas songs, it evolved as Enya, Nicky Ryan, and Roma Ryan worked on it in Enya's studio. The album created as a result of this continued 20+ year collaboration of musicians provides a mix of some Christmas music, as well as winter or holiday-themed music that blends beautifully.

And Winter Came is comprised of twelve songs, including two traditional Christmas tunes ("O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" and "Silent Night" ("Oíche Chiúin" in Gaelige). Other songs include such upbeat and sing-a-long songs as "Trains and Winter Rains" and "White is in the Winter Night."

Like all of Enya's albums, this too has a landscape hidden beneath the layered tracks – from the calm and steady piano of "And Winter Came…" to the end of "My! My! Time Flies!" (listen for the electric guitar!) and the fading refrains of "Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night)". Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Of the many amazing tracks on the album, I have to say that "Oíche Chiúin" is my favorite. This version of Silent Night involves what Nicky Ryan calls the "choir of one" – which was first used on Watermark where Enya performs multi-layered vocals. "Oíche Chiúin" uses this technique to amazing effect, enhancing the feel and meaning of the original work while making it more than it would have been if simply recorded with more usual techniques.

Though Enya doesn't release albums often, they are always welcome when they appear like magic on music store shelves.

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. The Spirit of Christmas Past
  10. My! My! Time Flies!
  11. Oíche Chiúin (Chorale) (Silent Night)

Be sure to check out your favorite local music store or Amazon for this one before the spirit of the season fades completely or keep it in mind for next years' holiday celebrations.

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About Fitz

Fitz is a software engineer and writer who lives in Colorado Springs, CO, with his family and pets, trying to survive the chaos!