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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on September 22, 2013
I received this item as expected and had no issues with my order. I had this album on audio cassette from the early 1990's and finally decided to upgrade to a CD. I have always and will always love this album - it is perhaps the most sensual music I have ever heard. I would highly recommend it.
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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.
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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.
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on April 8, 2000
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.
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on September 23, 2001
Just to let everyone know, I'm no fan of dance music at all. I generally find this type of music to get on my nerves. I like progressive rock, Yes, ELP, old Genesis, Ozric Tentacles type of stuff, so Enigma should be totally out of my league, but then why on Earth do I love it? Because it has some of the most creepy atmosphere I have ever heard on any album, with the probabale exception of Tangerine Dream's Zeit. The idea of blending a genre I can't stand (dance) with a very gloomy electronic ambience, Gregorian chanting and odd electronic flutes actually turned out to be quite appealing. I bought this in 1991, so I was more or less there from the beginnig and I was not one bit disappointed. Those Gregorian chants are real (I heard those chants on some TV documentary without the Enigma beats). And for whatever progheads have heard this album, samples of Aphrodite's Child's 666 are used. "The Voice & the Snake" samples "Seven Bowls" and "Rivers of Belief" samples "The Seventh Seal" which leads me to believe that Michael Cretu is a closet prog junkie (or at least likes Vangelis, who was a member of Aphrodite's Child). The first time I became aware of Enigma was seeing a video to "Sadeness" in November 1990, about three months before the American release of MCMXC a.D. and from just hearing that, I knew I had to get the album once it became easily available. This album is sure not perfect. The dance beats do get very samey and it does sound quite homogenous, but the very creepy and gloomy atmosphere makes up for this album's shortcomings. I have heard the next two Enigma releases, but I was not as impressed. The Cross of Changes finds them being more diverse, but the gloomy atmosphere was gone, replaced by the occasional sickeningly sweet New Age that might make Yanni proud, while Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! attempted to return to the gloomy atmosphere of MCMXC a.D. but was marrd by a couple of rather cheesy numberes, not to mention Michael Cretu singing way too much which become quite grating. That makes MCMXC a.D. the best one. If you want your Halloween experience as creepy as can be, play this.
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on April 9, 1999
This is by far the best Enigma album ( the other two left something to be desired- can't quite put my finger on it, though)! Yes, it does have that late 80's early 90's Soul II Soul sound. However, where the group Soul II Soul mixed in Jamaican, Reggae, club house rhythms Enigma was able to blend in European and Gregorian chant sounds with great finesse and seamless skill. MCMXCa.D. will stand the test of time whether it be on a global or cult status,in a dance club or at home. The limited edition with the remixes is EXCELLENT ! The maxi-singles are very interesting as well. Who would have thought that a group like Enigma could combine New-Age, dance, ambient, global and Gregorian chants to produce something very familiar, yet unique in its own right. Twenty years ago such a concept would have been laughed at by the masses (people, not the church service). To the world it would have been like crossing country music with disco music and Middle-Eastern religious incantations ( interesting concept). After becoming interested and fascinated by the group's musical offerings I found out about the individual artists that make up Enigma: Michael Cretu and his wife Sandra. They, too, have had previous hits in Europe back in the 80's. This led me to collect their import albums. The sound of their albums range anywhere from pop-rock, dance, r&b to pre-Enigma styles . I recommend some of these solo efforts (under the names Cretu, Cretu and Thiers, Sandra) It will give listeners a chance to hear how some of these earlier projects evolved into Enigma. Enigma MCMXC a.D. is a definite keeper for anyone's avid or diverse music collection. Put aside any misconceptions or reservations you may have due to its religious and sexual overtones and accept it for what it is; An artistic concept excellently carried out !
Forever Enigmatized
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on February 24, 2001
I have followed Enigma's career ever since I heard "Sadeness" in the trailer for "1492: Conquest For Paradise". After that, I bought the album "MCMXC A.D". I must say, this is THE defining moment in Enigma's American career. Starting off with "The Voice Of Enigma", which is used extensively throughout the "Trilogy"; This album, along with the ones following it, with the exception of "The Screen Behind The Mirror". If you notice carefully, this piece is used in the "Blade Runner: DC" trailer. Following this track is "The Principles Of Lust", which is the best piece in the entire life of Enigma. It's basically a culmination of three track (Sadeness; Find Love; and Sadeness (Sadness) Reprise). After this track, all of the remaining tracks are basically the same (That's not a bad thing). In the end, if you want a soothing, yet very exciting album, then this is definetly for you; if not, look for any of the other albums; although this is and still will be THE defining album for Engima; and for Sadeness, it's still the track that best defines Enigma.
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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. :-)
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on August 20, 2000
The first time that I listened to "Sadness," was in 1992, observing a program of local music. The mere act of listening to the Gregorian chants , the respiration that sounds from bottom and the rhythm that had that song, were enough in order to get this disk.
Already listening to it with thoroughly in my house, at night, upon listening to the words "This Is The Voice Of Enigma ... Take To Deep Breath And Relax," I felt complety rellaxed, and in a state of meditation that I could not describe.
Upon going sounding each one of the several songs, I could feel like I went traveling of a manner like before had not made it, and upon arriving to "The Rivers Of Belief," I knew that that disk had been a perfect purchase, and from then, it is one of my favored disks that in spite of having any time in the market, their sound and rhythm has not passed of style.
I recommend that person that appreciates a great variety of sounds mixed in perfect harmony for all and also desire to feel interior peace and relationship.
A disk that should not be lacking in no collection.
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on July 5, 1999
I have owned this cd since it's release in '91, and have not stopped listening to it since. Others have echoed my sentiments about the redeeming facets of this music, so I need not be redundant there. Some people have gone so far to say that their (well, Cretu's..) newer relelase, "Le Roi Est Mort...." is not nearly as interesting. I disagree strongly. Cretu has matured as an artist, but I do wish he would sing less. It would have a far better effect used more sparingly - as on "Rivers of Belief," the only track on MCMXC A.D. he sings on. For those starving for music like this, I recommened you search out titles by Delerium. Many have said they out-and-out mimicked the style of Enigma, but Leeb and Fulber have been around far too long to stoop so low. There is plenty of room in this "mixed-bag" genre for newcomers to push the boundaries of these sounds in new directions.
You like this cd?? Then check out Delerium's "Semantic Spaces," Deep Forest's debut cd (steer clear of the follow-ups, as they are dogs!) and also Mike Oldfield's "Songs For Distant Earth." He makes excellent use of world-music blurbs and Gregorian chanting on his effort.
But long may Cretu and Enigma rule!!!!
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