Enya, the one-named doyenne of new age music, is a unique superstar. Though she’s rarely in the spotlight, she’s sold some 65 million records, ranging from the driving soundtrack to “The Celts” that introduced her flowing, layered sound upon the United Kingdom, to the optimistic “Only Time,” which became the unofficial anthem of healing after the Sept. 11 attacks.

On her first new album in five years, “Amarantine,” the Irish songstress brings forth 12 new songs that, like previous albums, are haunting and ethereal, with music that undulates in soft, almost shimmering fashion.

The follow-up to the 13-million selling “A Day Without Rain” is a welcome offering of soft yet rhythmic vocals, lush instrumentation and lyrics sung in English, Japanese and Loxian, a made-up tongue devised by Enya and her lyricist, Roma Ryan.

The result is a decidedly satisfying effort that, while haunting in its nature, breaks no new ground for the three-time Grammy winner. But that’s OK, because a new Enya CD is about comfort. It’s the sort of album you listen to while in a retrospective mood or reminiscing about an old love or recalling a warm family moment. It’s mood music – and “Amarantine” excels at setting the mood.

Associated Press: Matt Moore | November 23, 2005