Thursday, September 28, 2006

Enigma 6: A Posteriori


For me the Soul of Enigma consists all of the following:

  1. Mysterious Sensual Ambience - I would say that this feature is still present in E6.

  2. Tribal (or Inspired) Dance Beats / Sounds of Aliens / Classical Music - Something old, something classical, something folk. This feature is important as it is part and parcel of what makes Enigma sound strange in a unique and exceptional way. There is not much of Tribal (or Tribal Inspired) Dance Beats in this album. The only song with such feature is "Dancing with Mephisto" and "Hello and Welcome". Give and take "Sounds of Aliens" is present in "Message from IO" and "Northern Lights".

  3. Operatic/Folk singing, Whispers - Somehow, they are present in "Dreaming of Andromeda" and "Dancing with Mephisto", "Eppur Si Muove"4) Pop ballads - "Sitting on the Moon"

So, if all the items above are somehow present, one wonders what is missing? Why does it not meet my requirements of what is considered an excellent album?__________________________________________________________________________________________

Perhaps we should look into the details of the mixing and arrangements of the album.

1) Flow arrangement of tracks: The flow from one track to another is not as clean. In fact previous albums and E5 has a better flow than E6. Most of the tracks in E6 sound as if they start and end on their own disregarding the nature of music in the next track.

2) Operatic/Folk singing do not cleanly "gel" and somehow their presence is limited in every song: They are not formed as important indispensable fabric/background to the songs as evident in past tracks "Gravity of Love", "Sadeness", "Beyond The Invisible" and "Return to Innocence". Forgetting the chants/operas/folk, at least the alien quivering sound in E5 is prevalent throughout most of the tracks such as "Incognito", "Page of Cups" etc.

3) It is hard to catch the conceptual connections between the male vocals in certain tracks with the female opera singer, the eastern folk singer in "Goodbye Milky Way", the Heavy Beats and the Space. Some of the tracks in LSD Remix Collection sounds more Spacey and Edgy than E6

4) Therefore, this leads to the consistency of the album. If you listen carefully most of the tracks will not have feature (2), (3) and (4) (of "Soul of Enigma") together in a single song, which is unlike all previous albums where most tracks will have at least two to three of the combinations. The only two tracks having the combined nature are "Dancing With Mephisto" and "Goodbye Milky Way".

5) The album concept is not rich enough. I would always have a preference of E5 over E6. At least E5 has more tribal inspired electronic beats, more tribal inspired backup vocals (listen to "Incognito"), eerie quivering alien sampled voices ("Page of Cups" and other tracks), Bollywood (The Indian Hollywood) music inspired tracks (Boum Boum), Chamber music-Electronica fusion in "From East to West", "In The Shadow, In The Light", "The Piano". Overall theme, it gives the feeling of Aliens visiting the ancient world before there was a civilisation. Forget about the real samplings of chants/operas, at least E5 has some techno-dance works, chillout tracks and more unique pop songs, which the latter two is clearly missing from E6.

Generally, this album is considerably OK. After all, disregarding the mentioned points, the beats and music is still enjoyable and good. It still does contain the elements of a successful Enigma album only to a much lesser extent. However, from a creative standpoint, I would have preferred an album with items above.

Enjoy !!!

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