1988, Music

Watermark (1988) by Enya

“Orinoco Flow” floated around my aunt and uncle’s house every time I was there in late 1988 through 1989. In my memory, that song is playing every single time I visited their house as a child. I had no idea how to spell the title, and didn’t understand what it meant. All I knew was that it was Enya, and that was whatever “Orinoco Flow” sounded like. I have no idea if they played the entire record, or if they played that song more than a few times, but to me it felt like it was the soundtrack of their lives. I had never heard anything it so, for much of the ensuing years, Enya songs would remind me of my aunt and uncle’s house.

That song was my exposure to “new age” until I was introduced to other exponents of the genre through doctor’s offices, elevators and the like. I have formed a grave distaste for this genre I’ve never paid attention to ever since. So I approached this record with the idea that it would make my ears bleed, that I would be lulled into a coma and die of boredom.

Well, if this is the sound of new age, then it’s nowhere near as bad as I ever imagined. (Alternatively, I am mellowing with age. Both can things can be true at the same time.) It’s safe, it’s pleasing, its only goal seems to be to not give offense, at times it sounds like the score to a movie I would absolutely hate. (Or, rather, I might hate the soundtrack to the movie and therefore be annoyed by the movie.) And it is made with cutting edge technology so it sounds like my aunt and uncle’s house in 1988. But it’s full of musical ideas and it is, at times, energetic in a way I never imagined new age could be.
It is better than I expected, hence the rating.


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