Enya (Reprise 26775) No matter how much new age artists might rely on mood to put their music across, it always helps if an album has a few tunes to go along with that atmosphere. Or so it would seem from a few listens to "Shepherd Moons," the latest offering from Irish synthesist Enya. Sure, the sonic tapestries she weaves are richly seductive, full of quiet chord washes and softly rippling arpeggios, but to tell the truth, such effects work best as background; when you get right down to it, it's the melody that matters most. And melody is what Enya ultimately delivers, from the irresistible balladry of "How Can I Keep from Singing?" to the lullaby-like refrain of "Marble Halls."
Aerosmith (Columbia 46209)
In classical mythology, when Pandora opened the forbidden box, what she got was a world of problems. Open up Aerosmith's "Pandora's Box," and what you'll get isn't a lot of trouble, but a lesson about the trouble with a lot. There's plenty of worthy material packed into this three-CD (or three cassette) set, from classics like "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion" to outtakes testifying to the solidity of the band's rhythm section. But it's hardly enough to sustain a 52-song overview, and the weaker moments -- from the amateurish blues-rock of "When I Needed You" to the bloated excess of "Riff & Roll" -- are enough to make any but the most devoted fan long for the simplicity of a greatest hits album.