I really can't get my head round this one at all. It's clear that there are a number of forces contributing to the writing into history of the classic rock bands and pop artists that will be remembered from this generation. Citations of influence from contemporary artists is a powerful force, as are the appearance of tribute artists and discs re-creating the music of past artists. The key to that last one is re-creating the music - the original music - rather than being a "cover" that has been tweaked on some way.
What I find so puzzling about this disc of the Taliesin Orchestra is why they should choose to effectively re-create the music of an artist like Enya, who is still actively working. You might argue that these are covers and therefore my argument falls. Possibly...if they are covers then they are of the "Boston Pops Plays The Beatles" or "London Philarmonia Meets Queen" variety. Whichever way I look at it, I don't see the merit, need, call it what you will. It has to be money - why else would a company like Metal Mind Productions issue it?
The fact that it must sell many CDs is reinforced because this is Taliesin Orchestra's fifth album of her music. A bit of an obsession, I would say. The Taliesin Orchestra is a musical group that specializes in remaking famous songs into orchestra-style melodies. It is led by keyboardist Trammell Starks in tandem with conductor, producer and arranger Charles Sayre. The group rose to success with a series of symphonic albums reprising the work of some of popular artists. Their debut Orinoco Flow: The Music of Enya appeared as long ago as 1996. Clearly, they've been virtually stalking the poor woman!
So, waffle aside, how good is this album. Well, Enya is...Enya: if you're not one of the many millions of people who have bought her albums or heard her music, or that of her former band Clannad, then I would say that it is inspired by an Irish celtic heritage, folky, with instrumentation to match, and a key factor is her style of vocalisation, often or always without lyrics being sung, very ethereal and mystical. Perhaps for that reason her music is often put into the "new age" category. Enya, of course, denies the categorisation - now, where have I heard that before?
It's the kind of music that is impossible to dislike totally - indeed it sells in vast amounts so many people clearly love it - but it's not my favourite sort of music - it lacks the depth and subtlety that I need to get into ambient music - which I like as a general rule - and it is not folky enough to hook me on that score either (I also have a number of folk albums in my collection). Therefore, I can't tell you how faithful Taliesin Orchestra are to Enya's original music, only that it inspires the same sort of "yes, it's nice but..." reaction in me. It makes me think of supermarkets.
I haven't given this a lower ranking because, in truth, the music is good, even if not to my personal taste. However, my frank advice is this: if you are interested in listening to Enya's music, then go and buy an Enya CD!
1) Amarantine (3:06)
2) Orinoco Flow (4:10)
3) May It Be (4:36)
4) Wild Child (3:35)
5) Only Time (4:17)
6) Caribbean Blue (3:14)
7) Paint the Sky With Stars (4:00)
8) Watermark (3:27)
9) Only If (6:08)
10) Hope Was a Place (4:44)
11) The Celts (3:49)
12) Anywhere Is (5:50)