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Saturday, January 14, 2012

"Orinoco Flow"

Enya - Orinoco Flow (1988)

Yeah, I thought it was called Sail Away too.

So it's a travelogue song. Like I've Been Everywhere or Route 66 it's a list of places. In this case a list of places that the singer and presumably the listener, can go rather than have been. In this way it can be a little sad. You can interpret as wishful hopeful young people talking about where they could go, but over 20 years after the song came out, it's hard not to hear a little melancholy in the synthesized keyboard sound, particularly during the chorus. There is also a running harp sound during the chorus that sounds electric to me. The background vocals are Enya, layered over and over on herself, an idea from her producer and manager Nicky Ryan. The title of the song is a reference to the studio it was recorded in: Orinoco Studios in London, England.

I do think the song does a good job of making you feel like you are bobbing up and down in the ocean. the beat is on the two and the & after three. It can be slightly off sounding, like you are rushing, because we are used to hearing the beat on the two and the four, but that is what makes the song sound like we are sailing. I do like the big timpani and other drum sounds as they are the only thing that sounds real and unprocessed to me. Not my favorite song, or artists, but you can't deny it was an enormous success, and I do feel a little seasick when I hear it.

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