Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • Watermark [Geffen, 1988] D+
  • A Day Without Rain [Reprise, 2001] D-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Watermark [Geffen, 1988]
A new name with a pedigree--she brought her family's upmarket Irish folk concept Clannad into the synthesizer age before leaving to pursue her own economic interests. Whilst humanizing technology, perpetrating banal verse in three languages (I'm guessing about the Gaelic after reading the English and figuring out the Latin), and mentioning Africa, the Orinoco, and other deep dark faraway places, her top-10 CD makes hay of pop's old reliable women-are-angels scam. At least the Cocteau Twins are eccentric. At least ELP were vulgarians. D+

A Day Without Rain [Reprise, 2001]
Pondering the fate of post-September 11 pop, everyone predicted what they already wished for--Slipknot undone, Britney in hiding. What happened instead was the unthinkable--sales of Enya's first album since 1995 spiked 10 months after release. (And she thought that movie where Charlize Theron fucked Keanu Reeves and died of cancer was a promotional coup!) Two years in the making with the artiste playing every synthesizer, the 11 songs here last a resounding 34 minutes and represent a significant downsizing of her New Age exoticism since 1988's breakthrough, Watermark--it's goopier, more simplistic. Yanni is Tchaikovsky by comparison, Sarah McLachlan Ella Fitzgerald, treacle Smithfield ham. Right, whatever gets folks through the night. But Enya's the kind of artist who makes you think, if this piffle got them through it, how dark could their night have been? Like Master P or Michael Bolton only worse, she tests one's faith in democracy itself. D-