If Anton Bruckner wrote one symphony nine times, then Eithné Ní Bhraonáin has recorded one album five times.
And yet symphony orchestras still perform Bruckner’s symphonies in the same way Enya’s albums sell in the millions.
That’s because Enya knows how to do one thing, and she does it well — extremely well.
A Day Without Rain has everything longtime Enya fans expect from the reclusive Irish artist — poignant melodies, oceans of harmony, soothing strings, Enya’s clear voice.
Rain even mirrors the arc of her four other albums. A piano piece, which also serves as the title track, starts things off. Then comes an uptempo number, followed by a slower song, followed by the requisite Latin piece, followed by a song in Irish Gaelic, followed by an uptempo but sparse number, followed by an instrumental, etc., etc.
There’s nothing incredibly new, and on some level, Enya is a bit too predictable in that regard.
At the same time, the album is distinct from Enya’s previous work. Like the title suggests, A Day Without Rain is sunnier, much lighter than her other albums. The sparsely introspective songs that anchored Watermark and The Memory of Trees have given way to lots of plucked strings and lilting waltzes.
The mood, however, doesn’t last very long. Clocking at a little more than half an hour, the album seems far too short for such a long a wait — it’s been five years since she released an album, not counting the greatest hits collection, Paint the Sky With Stars in 1997.
And while Enya has written what could be considered a “happy” album, A Day Without Rain doesn’t take listeners as far into that introspective zone where her other albums have ventured time and again.
It’s a familiar sound, done beautifully as always. Enya doesn’t give us anything terribly new, but she does still satisfy with what she has mastered.