The run of Enigma and the swirl of ambient dance tunes that filled his albums were the high during the ‘90s. With layers and layers of rich, gothic, and mysterious music fused with vocal chanting, Michael Cretu (Enigma) built upon the ambient stream by making it a style in the forefront, accessible and enjoyable.
Every subsequent Enigma album, beginning with MCMXC A.D., ventured further into the blending of ambience and dance music. Every Enigma album performed better than the one preceding it. And every Enigma album was a gem easily enough.
With the 2001 release of the best of Enigma called Love Sensuality Devotion (a nice play on the LSD term usage), which sold a very respectable 700,000 copies in the US alone, a complementary remix album come along to appeal to those who love dance music taken to a further level. Borrowing the name of that ‘best of,’ Cretu rounded up the best remixes of his hits, some which performed quite well in the charts, and compiled them into a 9-cut album.
The songs, in most cases, are lengthened to provide plenty of dance capability. The opening track, “Turn Around – Northern Light Club Mix” is, by itself, over 10 minutes. While many of the songs are noticeable, there are some that are disguised enough to make you wonder if you have heard them at all. An example is the popular “Return to Innocence,” which featured an Indian-like chant. This single was #2 on the Modern Rock chart, #4 on the Hot 100, and #6 in the Top40 Billboard charts. On this Remix album, it is virtually unidentifiable by all but the most ardent fan.
Does this hurt this collection? Not at all. The element that makes Enigma what it is makes this album a unique experience. Cretu’s creativity is still in full evidence. “Mea Culpa – Fading Shades Mix” is as engaging a work as the original cut is, more so than the “Return to Innocence – 380 Midnight Mix” mentioned earlier as elements that made Enigma stand out, is in effect over a persistent rhythm track. “TNT For the Brain – Midnight Man Mix” expands the original song infectiously.
The bottom line on Love Sensuality Devotion – The Remix Collection is that it is the next step in Enigma’s oeuvre. Having evolved in just about every way possible with their style, putting club/Rave-like rhythm layers over the popular tunes allows Cretu’s Enigma to advance another step in a different direction. All that remains is that you take that step as well.
Enigma fans are going to enjoy this album with little reservation. Recommended!