on July 6, 2004
I remember when i bought the first Enigma cd MCMXC AD i couldn't get enough. I have listened to this cd (no Lie) about a thousand times. It is sexy and pleasureable to the mind and ears. This is music you can really feel. I remember when i just couldn't wait for Enigma to release more of their music. Now I own every cd they have made. Every song on every cd I love, Enigma can do no wrong (or make a bad song). All cd's are my favorite I love Enigma I can't choose just one cd. I hope Michael Cretu continues to make music till he dies. Everyone I've introduced to Enigma has turned out to love it. Thanks Michael Cretu keep putting out the CD's and I'll keep buying.
Definately invest your money and your listening pleasure in Enigma. If God made music this is what it would probably sound like.
on May 19, 2004
Back in 1990, while I was still working in radio, a program director who shall remain nameless demanded that I pull the single "Sadeness" off the air because he thought it was "blasphemous." I was kind of dumbfounded, because I found it to be contemporary and original, and not in the least bit obscene. Just the kind of antidote to the blandness of the New Kids On The Block kiddy pop and dump truck loads of Whitney/Mariah clones being force fed to radio at the time. Of course, like any young buck worth his artistic salt, being told "NO" only made me want to find out more about this "Enigma" cat.
Once I got the full CD, I could understand how the easily shaken were getting their dander's flaked by Enigma. "MCMXC A.D." was the first album that used the fresh idea of mixing new age keyboards with chanting Monks and giving them the kind of rhythm that would work as a slow grind on the dance floor -- or more important -- late night nasties in the bedroom. Then there was the "Sadeness" video, which pictured a rather religious looking fellow as he dreams/hallucinates about a sultry looking woman and beams of light. Yup - just the kind of thing to turn the album into a nocturnal classic, dance floor smash and a magnet for those prone to censor that which might ruffle their too fragile sensibilities.
Surprisingly (or not), the album holds up pretty well all these years later. Tidal waves of imitations flew up in "MCMXC AD's" wake, but none (save maybe Deep Forrest) ever made much of an impact. You can also probably blame/credit Enigma for making top sellers out of the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos (remember 1994's "Chant"?). With all that has been going on in music since, "MCMXC AD" seems almost quaint, but this album remains an artifact from the end of the new age decade. And it still gets played in my playroom.
on May 16, 2004
Enigma is probably best known as the band that introduced Gregorian chants to dance music (though, in actuality, many bands had been doing this for several years in Europe). I must admit, that is one of the key things I remembered about this release. But after listening again to MCMXC a.D., I remember much more. For those people who understand and appreciate the power of music to enhance mood, this release is an experience in sensuality. Layered with religious symbolism, lush female vocals, spoken word (often in French), sounds from nature, and sensual beats, Enigma takes the listener (or listeners, as this release is also enjoyable with a companion) on a journey of self actualization, inner peace, and outward passion.
The release begins with "Voice of Enigma", a soothing intro to the album. Not really a song, this short piece places the listener in a relaxed state of mind which helps one best enjoy the remaining 40+ minutes.
The next song, "Principles of Lust," allows one to slip into deep relaxation and sensual exploration. Clocking in at over 11:30, this is actually a combination of three songs that flow together. a. "Sadeness" is Enigma's classic and first big hit. It is very sensual and relaxing, however at the same time it is stimulating and encourages one to be tactile. b. "Find Love" starts off as a sensual, atmospheric piece that floats all around the listener. Then it moves to a funky beat that is very assertive and more active. Also known as "The Principles of Lust." c. "Sadeness (Reprise)" returns the listener to the feelings in "Sadeness." However, the additional piano is very deep and stimulates one to be reflective.
"Callas Went Away" makes me think of young lovers who have stolen away from the village into the woods at dusk for a lovers' tryst.
"Mea Culpa" grabs one's attention and provides a sense of urgent desperation. The beats, the chant, the marching footsteps, and the rain make one feel like one is trying to escape from someone or something. This is a very powerful song.
"The Voice & the Snake" is discordant and disturbing, shaking one violently from a relaxed state. Fortunately, it is only a little over a minute and a half, ending the discomfort quickly.
"Knocking on Forbidden Doors" gives one a sense of need for control and for asserting oneself, strongly yet with a gentle, loving touch.
"Back to the Rivers of Belief," which concludes the release, has three parts. a. "Way to Eternity" slows one back down, allowing one to become calm and reflective once again. b. "Hallelujah" reintroduces the rhythm, allowing one to slowly again explore one's inner (or outer) senusuality. The tinkling bells are like a soft rain falling to the ground, or perhaps on oneself. c. "The Rivers of Belief" is a sensual, relaxing conclusion to the album. Whether shared with oneself or with another, this song helps reaffirm the love and passion one feels for oneself or one's partner.
This is an excellent release, especially for those who understand and enjoy the power of music to enhance the mood, whether one is alone or with that special someone. A sensual delight, MCMXC a.D. deserves a strong 5 star recommendation.
on April 27, 2004
First of all credit to Michael Cretu, he's a real genius who's been around for so long. Beening part of Moti Special and german group Sandra back in the 80's and later working with artists in France. He started off as a keyboard player and as far as i know is very gifet on a gift instruments, he wrote songs and he produced them. But it wasn't before he created Enigma in 1990 that his talent for writing/producing really shined. "MCMXC A.D" is a realy masterpiece of ambient music.
This was the first Enigma album and probably the best. Cretu mixed old Gregorian music with Dance rhythms. There are also drums and horns and haunting voices on the songs. The album starts with a intruduction what is all about "The Voice of Enigma" introduce us to the world of Enigma, slow meliodic music for relaxing and medetation. "Sadeness" their most famous song is a prime example of that. A slow song with monks singing sacred lyrics. It's beautiful but at the same time a good dance song. "Mea Culpa" is simular, but with some more drums. "Callas went away" follows the same path but now with female lyrics, it kinds of reminds me of the latter "Dream-Dance" BT and Robert Miles must have been influented here. The remaing few songs also continues in the way it all started with it's own special melodies and passion. "MCMXC AD" is a very beautiful and unique album. It's great relax music but more then just a album you put on when you clean the house. The songs do have a meaning. You should defenitely take a trip to Enigma's world.
on April 9, 2004
My dad bought this CD a long time ago and he has just abought every enigma CD there is. I was not always a very big fan of enigma and now is probably the only time I thought their CD was any good. It just took a while of listening and now it's one of my favorite new age albums.
The very first song I heard from the album was "Back To The Rivers Of Belief". I thought this was a very good song and I was surprised that it was not included on the greatest hits because I thought it was their best song. Enigma uses electronic music in the background along with gregorian chants but sometimes you just here regular singing. The album starts off with "The Voice Of Enigma" which is like the introduction to their music. The next song "Principles of Lust" has three parts to it: Sadness, Find Love and Sadness[reprise]. Sadness is my second favorite on the album and it is my favorite in that section. "Callas Went Away" features a unusaul kind of singing and it includes some of the same parts from the returning silence of the rivers of belief. "Mea Culpa" is also an electronic piece featuring more gregorian chants. "The Voice and the Snake" also has a strange use of singing in it. "Knocking on Forbidden Doors" is also a good song. I also noticed that there isn't really a break in between their songs, one song kind of goes into the next. I don't think I've ever heard another musician do that.
The extra tracks include new editions of Sadness, Mea Culpa, Principles of Lust and The Rivers of Belief. But mostly they sound the same as the originals.
I think that if you're into new age music then MCMXC A.D. and the greatest hits would be great albums to buy. I have learned from listening to this album that some of you're favorite albums can be ones that when you first heard you didn't like so you should listen to albums for a while before you decide whether you like it or not.
on February 23, 2004
Enigma is by far one of the major phenomenon in music.
The music is going to take you to a dream like state, and you'll never want to return to reality. Better than anything one could sniff. There is only one thing better than Enigma's music, the Enigma's music DVDs.
If you listen, or specially watch, Mea Culpa and Beyond the Invisible, and you are not deeply moved and forever changed, there is no hope for you, and you'll forever know only one narrow side of life.
For the gentlemen that wrote in his review that what Enigma does is marketing, I would like to point that that statement is totally wrong for the following reason: How many of you have ever heard about an Enigma tour, on camera interview, a red carpet walk to any social event, or anything that would put them in the spot light? Of course nobody heard about any of these, because they never do any of these things. Why? Because they wanted their fans to concentrate on the music, not on the people. Who loves Enigma, loves their music, not necessarily the people behind it. To me that is worth a lot, and actually it is preety bad marketing, by American standards. Unfortunately, nowadays too few people do art for the love of it, not for the money.
As of the people behind Enigma, until 5 - 6 years ago, only rumors existed. Looking deep behind the mystery, hype, and prejudice, one can find the Gothic, the Gregorian, the Roman numerals, the Cathedrals, as real part of the ancestry in which many have roots, including Cretu (Curly) and the forever changing gang behind the music. Nothing less could one expect from the land that brought us vampires, Orthodoxy, and the Gothic (I am not talking about young people painted in black wearing weird clothes).
Given all this, no one can touch, or come even close, to Enigma's music and the feelings they inspire.
If you Mr. Robert J. Murphy do not agree, better stick to your RAP...
on August 23, 2003
This album is certainly a landmark of some kind; every Goth-ish alterna-kid in the early 90s (that was me) was familiar with it, and at the time it was pretty unique, being one of the first CDs to introduce the then-nascent genre of "ambient house" to the masses. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's a *good* album, and, well, it's not.
The CD opens with the painfully pretentious "The Voice Of Enigma", consisting of spoken word atop floaty synth washes:
"Good evening. This is the voice of Enigma. In the next hour, we will take you with us into another world - into the world of music, spirit, and meditation. Turn off the light, take a deep breath, and relax. Start to move slowly...very slowly. Let the rhythm be your guiding light."
Er, yeah, sure, I'll do that, Ms. Tree Spirit.
The material is *very* repetitive; pretty much every track consists of the same Gregorian chant samples, cheesy synthetic pan flute, and synth ambience, with a different breakbeat. Occasionally some gratuitous French spoken word is thrown in, because, you know, anything in French is automatically sexy *and* artistic.
The music isn't entirely without merit, but it's so cluttered with new age cliché and faux-arty pretension that it's impossible to listen to. Unless you're the sort who likes to sit around reading about astrology and pretending to be spiritual, give it a miss.
on September 11, 2002
Hear me out on this one. Or better yet hear Enigma. This is a fantastic amalgamation of ancient religious, modern space-age, new age psyche, electronic ambience all blended into an audio aphrodisiac like you've never tasted before. There have been copycats, but there is only one Enigma. This CD was meant to be experienced, not merely heard. The sounds of this disc are haunting and emotive and will take your mind and heart to secret places if you let it...and feel free to let your body enjoy the ride as well. There are slow liquid pieces to drift away with and deep throbbing rhythms to move in time with. All of it is layered in a mixture of otherworldliness, choral voices, and soft sexy interludes of kinky French dialogue. This is more than music to hear -- it's music to eat with your heart and mind and body. Turn down the lights, slip into something a little more personal, slide this CD in, give your lover that special smile, and let erotic passion do the rest. Whether you smoke or not, after listening to this album you'll need a cigarette...
on August 20, 2002
Who have not heard of Engima?
I first heard about Enigma when I was at 12 year old. The hit Song Sadeness Part 1 was a wordwide success. That strange song captured my young and curious heart so I bought the cassette wanting to hear more of their sound. The music I can say is very very dark. After a few listening I got so scared that I decided to throw the cassette away. The strangest thing about this record is that it has the ability to intrude your mind.
That was then, now (for 12 years) I am a huge fan of Engima, I own most of their CDs from Engima 2 to their lastest LSD. My collection will not be complete without MCMXC AD I thought. So I decided to give this CD another chance. I went and bought it. The moment I played the CD, the Ghostly music sent the same shivers down my spine once more as it tranported me back to the time when I first listen to it. I tried very hard to accept the music but still I failed. I am not saying that the music is bad. It's just that I find this music so powerful that it is very disturbing especially if you listen to it as a whole (from the beginning track to the last track).
Even though I particulary like 3 tracks on this album, I gave it away. Later, I bought the singles for Sadeness Part 1 and MelCupa and downloaded Callas went away.
Maybe you had heard of them for a long time but have not own any of their album and pondering whether you should but buy this (highly recommendated but everyone here)I would advise to BUY IT if you are experimental enough! Otherwise I strongly recommend LSD (the greatest hit) and Engima 2. And if you like my recommendation, buy everything by Engima!
on July 15, 2002
"MCMXC A.D." by the one-man studio group known as Enigma (aka Michael Cretu) is a timeless blend of ambient new age sounds & beats, chanting monks, sultry female vocals (supplied by Cretu's wife, Sandra Cretu), and washes & washes of beautifully lush, atmospheric keyboards. It's the *perfect* disc for playing late at night with the lights out. When "MCMXC A.D." first came out 12 years ago, I couldn't stop playing it. I was so taken by it's sheer beauty, and how listening to it could just transport me to another place & time. 12 years later, the album still holds up marvelously. Everybody knows the hit "Sadness Part 1," with it's chanting monks over an ambient dance beat, but there are many more delights to be found here, including "Callas Went Away, "Mea Culpa," "Knocking On Forbidden Doors," and "The Rivers Of Belief." From start to finish, this album is simply intoxicating.Just looking at the classic album cover (with a monk on a mountaintop staring into a bright ray of light) always makes me smile. I've been a diehard Enigma fan ever since "MCMXC A.D." came out, and I've thoroughly enjoyed the three albums so far that have followed it. But "MCMXC A.D." remains Enigma's signature piece, a truly unique album that no music collection is complete without. Turn off the light, take a deep breath, and let the rhythm be your guiding light. :-)