Saturday, December 31, 2005


Hahaha, so, now, I'm kicking myself. I found this great article on Enya in Slate that I think would be interesting to most people whether you love or hate her. If you don't read it, I'll just skip right to the best part: three of the songs on it are written in an imaginary language, Loxian, "a futuristic language from a distant planet," where its denizens wonder if they're alone in the universe.

I'll give you a brief interlude to calm down.

They got the idea when Enya wrote a song in Elvish for Fellowship of the Ring. I looked in the liner notes, and what I thought were weird, artistic scratches—part of the background texture—are the original Loxian lyrics to the songs, written in Loxian. To the right are the English translations, which should have stood out because they never actually appear on the CD. Sure enough, in the copyright info, both the Loxian language and font are attributed to Enya's lyricist Roma Ryan. What I thought was Japanese (given the pre-release rumors that the album had a Japanese theme) in the title track, Less Than a Pearl, is actually just babbling nonsense.

I guess, in the end, it doesn't matter. So many of her songs are in Irish Gaelic or Latin or Italian or Spanish or Japanese or some other language I don't understand. Gaelic and nonsense sound about the same to me. In fact, it's nonsense specifically crafted to sound good. It's not the first time that Enya has had nonsense lyrics in songs, but I think it's the first time a CD of hers has had a quarter of the tracks containing lyrics but no real words.

Beyond that revelation, there was one other thing from this article that caught my attention, and I think it's why I like her latest CD less than her previous ones:

As Enya's career has progressed, and her air-goddess shtick has become more entrenched, the bottom end has disappeared from her songs, to the point where, on Amarantine, there is virtually no bass, no lower-register sounds, nothing to ground the music. Enya would do well to remember that, once in a while, everyone—earthling, Middle-Earthling, and Loxian alike—needs to bang on a drum.

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