Throwback Tuesday : Enya’s ‘Only Time’

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There’s no denying the fact that the impact of Eithne Ni Bhraonain, lovingly known globally as Enya, the Irish Goddess/Living Legend/Queen of New Age Pop/Celtic music is nothing short of stellar. One really cannot ignore the fact that this reclusive woman with all of one Billboard top 10 hit and one UK # 1 single is one of the highest selling vocalists in the history of contemporary music with a mind-boggling discography spanning over 27 years, comprising of 10 mega-selling albums – each of which is certified multi-platinum, platinum or gold.

Her lowest selling studio album, 2008’s ‘…And Winter Came‘, has sold an estimated 4 million units worldwide. That’s more copies shifted than Madonna and Mariah Carey’s latest albums combined. And with promo that would have rendered the latter divas with aluminium certifications instead of the barely-gold sales achieved by relentless over-the-top appearances and performances being shoved down our throats.

And your faves? That’s right. Bow down right here.

Enya’s immensely remarkable vocals are well-known and much-loved globally, and are a class apart. If you’ve listened to any album by the 4-time Grammy winning Academy Award nominated chanteuse, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The ‘May It Be‘ songstress has used the same template for each album ever since she arrived in 1987 with her self-titled début – ethereal reverberations of lush, layered vocals cascading flawlessly to create classic, nostalgia-evoking soul-stirring Celtic flavored slices of pop-excellence.

Also, when it comes to harmonies, no one, I repeat, no one does it better than Enya. Angelic would be a severe understatement.

With well over 80 million albums sold worldwide, 5 consecutive albums by Enya have crossed the 10 million mark through 1988 to 2000, including the highest selling album of her career – the classic ‘A Day Without Rain‘, which has shifted over a staggering 16 million units worldwide.

enya A Day Without Rain

Released in 2000, ‘A Day Without Rain‘ was a follow-up to her 10 million-plus seller, 1995’s ‘The Memory Of Trees‘, and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, Enya’s highest charting album till date. Even after a 5 year break, and with no promo whatsoever, the album went on to become the best selling album by a female vocalist in 2001, partly due the massive hit ‘Only Time‘, which reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 in the aftermath of 9/11 after already being a hit earlier due to the track’s use in the ads for the massively popular series ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S‘, # 1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts, and # 1 in a host of other countries including Canada, Switzerland and Germany.

Created and produced entirely by Enya and her trusty aides Nicky and Roma Ryan, ‘A Day Without Rain‘ is one of those albums that I can play on repeat without skipping a single track. All of 34 minutes and 20 seconds long, the album remains an immaculate aural masterpiece. Based on the same sonic blueprint as her previous records, the 12-track album is magical, mystical and dreamy – chronicling everything Enya stands for.

From the waltzy ‘Flora’s Secret‘ (my fave Enya track of all time) to the sinister ‘Tempus Vernum‘ to the haunting ‘One By One‘, each song on this album represents a surrogate theme to a personal journey woven through a plethora of memories and emotions for me (her dreamy vocals generally have that effect on a bazillion others like me), every time I listen to them. Back in the day, I literally forced my friends to listen to the album, indulging in our never-ending useless banter, evoking the same jaw-drop after they were done listening, while I would gloat ferociously!

Of course, listening to the songs today transports me back in time, to a place where everything seemed to be blessed and innocent. I miss those days. Although distance has kept me apart physically from most of my closest friends, most of them remain thick as thieves till date. And one of them called me up the other day to inform that he was getting hitched later this year (congrats Sid!), and mayhaps that’s the reason why I went on an Enya overload this week !

Irrespective of my personal views about the album, ‘A Day Without Rain‘ remains an extraordinary sonic masterpiece.

If y’all haven’t heard the album yet, I’d suggest you download/buy it asap. Along with ‘Paint The Sky With Stars‘, her 1997 greatest hits collection.

Check out the serene ‘Only Time‘ by Enya right here :