Enya is a rare breed of human being. Like some sort of mythical New Age deity, she emerges from her castle every few years on a white steed (pictured on this album cover, if proof is needed), silently drops an album, and disappears back into the ether without as much as a by-your-leave. Some would call that strange behaviour, but it hasn't done the Donegal songstress any harm at all - her enigmatic persona has merely added intrigue to her huge worldwide fanbase.
And Winter Came.., her seventh studio album, was originally conceived as a Christmas record - and although that angle was nixed in a favour of a simple winter-themed one (hence the title), there's still a strong festive theme running throughout. The Spirit of Christmas Past, Oíche Chiúin and Journey of the Angels continue Enya's steadfast trend for religious, hymnal nuances.
There really isn't much to say about this album, musically, though: all of the songs sound.. well, like Enya songs. Breathy, whispery vocals float across wispy instrumentation, tons of slow-moving strings and 'aaaaaaaaahmmmm' noises converge in reverb-heavy implosions with titles like Dreams Are More Precious, and a number of jaunty, regal arrangements also rear their heads. There is one surprise, though - My! My! Time Flies! is much poppier than anything else here, but the presence of (gasp!) - an electric guitar riff! will surely horrify her fans. For curious observers, your brain will start to feel tight by the half-way mark.
Although the sleeve notes claim that And Winter Came.. was 'recorded in the digital domain on an analogue brain', it sounds like every other Enya album since the beginning of time, and will appeal only to priests, the elderly and Americans (or all three together). It's simply exactly what you'd expect of an Enya winter-themed album. Buy it for your granny to play at the Old Folks' Home this Christmas.