Sister of Maire Ni Bhraonain (lead singer of Irish group Clannad, with whom she briefly performed), Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin remains one of the most beautiful singers in the world today.
Enya's voice is pure, clear, and heavenly, and - along with producer Nicky Ryan and his lyric-writing wife Roma - she has released a number of albums (sporadically) that follow a very similar pattern, but have nonetheless contained much haunting and captivating beauty. And as well as her voice and prowess on a variety of keyboard instruments, Enya is also blessed with a natural gift for writing gorgeous melodies which few are able to match.
This debut album was released in 1987 as Enya,
being a selection of music from the BBC-TV series The Celts
, and was then released under that name several years later, after the success of her subsequent two releases.
is different in format from what was to follow, with only one song, "I Want Tomorrow", that could be described as fairly standard. The rest is a collection of instrumentals else gentle singing, at various times sweet, dark, graceful, beautiful and moody. And Enya's much over-dubbed voice, even when not producing words (some of which are in English, others in Gaelic), becomes an instrument itself amongst the array of synthesizers and more standard selection of occasional pianos, violins, and - on "I Want Tomorrow" - an electric guitar even.
It's that variety in how the music is played which determines the appeal of individual tracks. For instance, one might find the uilleann pipes on "The Sun in the Stream" a bit jarring, while "Fairytale" has a much gentler instumental sound, yet both have captivating melodies. If I was to name personal favourites though, they would include "The Celts", "Aldebaran", "Epona", "Triad" (particularly the second and third sections"), and "Portrait".
This record is about enchanting, rich and gorgeous music, and although it was Enya's next album - the superb Watermark -
that brought her deserved fame, The Celts
is itself a classic. And the album's original artwork, featuring Enya with stuffed wolves, is also quite striking. Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor