MCMXC A.D.

MCMXC A.D.

4.5 7
by Enigma
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Enigma's megamillion superseller sparked international artistic fistfights when it was first released in 1991. In fact, its tantalizing mix of ambient beats, Gregorian chants, French lyrics, seductive breathing, and sensual mea culpas is anything but enigmatic. The music's steamy mixture of sexual and religious overtones helped fuel the

Overview

Enigma's megamillion superseller sparked international artistic fistfights when it was first released in 1991. In fact, its tantalizing mix of ambient beats, Gregorian chants, French lyrics, seductive breathing, and sensual mea culpas is anything but enigmatic. The music's steamy mixture of sexual and religious overtones helped fuel the breakaway single, "Sadeness." Though there were no liner notes, and the musicians' real names weren't revealed, most listeners took to the concept album immediately. It wasn't long, however, before the album's anonymous producer, Michael Cretu (MC Curley), was attacked by the Catholic church, which claimed the album was immoral. Lawsuits were filed by the offended Kapelle Antiqua choir charging unauthorized use of their Gregorian chant recordings. Time and the Internet have since "solved" many of the album's mysteries: Cretu deliberately shrouded the album in mystery; "Sadeness" refers both to the Marquis de Sade and to sadness; the French lyrics challenge Sade about his beliefs; and the seductive vocals were performed by his wife Sandra. One of the album's special surprises is the appearance of the five-note Close Encounters of a Third Kind theme. MCMXC A.D. popularized ambient drum loops and inspired many musicians to include Gregorian chant and classical vocals in their mixes. And somewhat ironically, Enigma set the stage for the runaway success of CHANT -- an album of pure Gregorian chant sung by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos -- in 1994.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ned Raggett
It's a scam, sure. But like the best of scams, it also succeeds. Cretu's attempt at fusing everything from easy listening sex music and hip-hop rhythms to centuries-old Gregorian chants couldn't have been more designed to tweak the nose of high art, a joyously crass stab straight at a mainstream, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. The result is something that shouldn't exist, but in its own way results in as much of a cultural scramble and explosion as anything Public Enemy were doing around the same time, crossing over the Eurodisco and new age spheres with style. Credit Cretu for an open ear for whatever works, which is precisely why "Sadeness," the first part of a longer track called "Principles of Lust," turned into a fluke worldwide hit. Snippets of monks invoking the Almighty effortlessly glide in and out of a polite but still strong breakbeat, shimmering, atmospheric synth and flute lines and a Frenchwoman whispering in a way that sounds distinctly more carnal than spiritual (as her gasps for breath elsewhere make clear). Guitar and male vocals add to the album version's try-anything-that-works approach, as do attempts at shuffling jazz beats and horns. If nothing quite equals that prime moment elsewhere on the album, MCMXC still trips out on the possibilities as it can, right from the opening "Voice of Enigma," inviting all listeners to sit back, relax, and take a gentle trip. Cretu certainly isn't trying to hide anything -- "Callas Went Away" goes right ahead and adds a sample of Maria Callas herself to the chirping birds and soft beats, while elsewhere the flutes, beats, monks, and French voices merrily go about their glossy business. About the only thing missing is the kitchen sink, making the entire album the "Macarthur Park" of its day.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/29/1992
Label:
Virgin Records Us
UPC:
0077778622420
catalogNumber:
86224
Rank:
22913

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

MCMXC A.D. 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album of sensual sounds takes you into another realm of music one of emotion and sexuality. A must have !!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Enigma. I have every cd they have ever out out including some imports. Although this is a great cd the third enigma cd really kicks
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is BEST CD to listen. The music is very peaceful and calm. It's great for every ocassion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's dark sexy Gothic. it's one of my favorite album in my collection. this album is perfect for going out Clubbing on a saturday night and perfect for lighting candles in your bedroom on a saturday night. making love to your husband or your Lover i loved the gregorian chants it brings me back to the midle ages. it's very nocturnal. if you love Enigma this album for you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The most relaxing music I've ever listened to. A must for your collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago