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1. Enigma - Love Sensuality Devotion:
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3. Volume 3: Further in Time
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4. The Cross of Changes
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5. Voyageur (Special Package)
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6. Deep Forest
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7. Enigma 3: Le Roi Est Mort, Vive
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8. Seed
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9. Volume 1: Sound Magic
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10. Vol. 2, Release
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11. The Screen Behind the Mirror
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12. Kinky
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13. Philtre
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14. Planet Drum
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15. Boheme
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16. Sadeness, Pt. 1
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17. Shaday
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18. Halim
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19. Comparsa
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20. Ayeshteni

1. Enigma - Love Sensuality Devotion: The Greatest Hits
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Asin: B00005OMTT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1371
Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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A greatest-hits package sampling four Enigma discs released between 1990 and 2000, LSD splendidly documents the influential output of Michael Cretu, a techno-bohemian who successfully creates cinematic, otherworldly New Age-like musical suites. Now, more than a decade removed from the arrival of Sadeness (Part 1) and its eyebrow-raising mix of sacred and sensual subplots, people can debate whether Cretu's music represents savvy commercial calculation or satisfying art. LSD suggests a split decision, though tracks with intriguing blends of atmosphere and rhythm, such as "Gravity of Love," "T.N.T. for the Brain" and "Morphing Thru Time," reveal an inventiveness that demonstrates Cretu is capable of more than sophisticated novelty tunes. Two new songs, neither especially noteworthy, open this package. Meanwhile, remastered older tracks segue beautifully to exude a satisfying, seamless unity. Big bonus: run time exceeds 76 minutes. --Terry Wood ... Read more

Reviews (73)

4-0 out of 5 stars to jerry fry. advice
When Enigma started to sound in Spain I must say I didn't like at all. I hated Sadeness. Now is one of my favourite songs in the history of music. I started apreciating 1 or 2 years later listening to my dad's CD. I rate 4 out from 5 cos there are some changes I would do in the best songs album. As I've read from you, jerry, the 2 songs you like are instrumental and more or less soft, relaxing. 1st cd, MCMXCa.c. has 2 "strong" songs (Principles of lust, which contains Sadeness and Find love, and Mea culpa), 1 intro as every Enigma cd, 3 more relaxing (Callas went away, Knockin on forbidden doors and Rivers of belief) and the other one is like an intro (The voice and the snake).
2nd one, Cross of changes is, perhaps, stronger (Return to innocence, I love you...I'll kill you-which I love-, Silent warrior, Age of loneliness and Out of the deep). There is one long instrumental (Eyes of truth) and 2 short "melodics" (Dream of the dolphin and the cd closing Cross of changes).
3rd, Le roi et mort, vive le roi (King is dead, Life for the King in french). More calm songs (Morphin thru time, Shadows in silence, Almost full moon and Odyssey of the mind), and 3 stronger (Why, TNT for the brain and Roundabout). The other 3 are relaxin I think (the single Beyond the invisible, Child in us and Prism of life).
Finally, The screen behind the mirror: 5 strongs (Push the limits, Gravity of love, Modern crusaders, Camera obscura and Silence must be heard). 5 relaxin (Traces, Screen behind the mirror, Endless quest, Between heart and mind and my favourite Smell of desire).
I think four of them are very similar in that way, maybe second is the strongest and could be worse for you. Try with 1st or 3rd, but if you have the oportunity make yourself a mix with the calmest songs I recomend you: Callas went away, Knockin on forbidden doors, Rivers of belief, Beyond the invisible, Shadows in silence, Almost full moon, Traces, Between mind and heart and Smell of desire. Take into account that there are not breaks between songs in the cd's if you want to mix them. It seems me a bit unfair not to include my 2 favourite songs: Principles of lust (12 minutes) and I love you...I'll kill you (9 minutes). They mix strong and calm passages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning and enchanting
I'm a huge Enigma fan. I find Enigma's music soothing and comforting to relax too. Although I own all four of their albums, I wanted to buy their greatest hits especially after hearing one of their new songs "Turn Around". I believe that "The Landing" and "Turn Around" are the two new tracks on the cd, or never been released. I particularly dug "Turn Around", such a breath-taking epic. "The Landing" made for a good opening track to lead the listener into this enchanting album. All the well-known tracks on this cd is found such as "Sadeness" and "Return to Innocence". My personal favorite songs were included on this cd such as "Gravity of Love", "Mea Culpa", "Beyond the Invisible", and "Morphing Thru Time". Over 70 minutes long, I was not disappointed in this cd. This cd is great for casual listeners interested in hearing only Enigma's more familiar songs. Definitely one of the best greatest hits compilations ever to be released in my honest opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars stunning
a highly adventurous and pioneering success of a collection.

Enigma has always deftly combined a mind expanding and enlightening sound with a pop sensibility - not such an easy task.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST FOR ALL ENIGMA FANS!
i have to admit that at first i didn't think that it would be necessary to purchase this enigma greastest hits compilation. i mean especially when you're a fan who already has all their cds, what would be the point of doing so? well i have to say i was wrong! i purchased this cd and was not the least bit disappointed! for one thing, it has various remixed tracks, such as "tnt for the brain" and i must say the track on this cd far exceeds the original one found on enigma's third album "le roi est mort, vive le roi." in my personal opinion, "tnt for the brain" is reason enough to buy this greatest hits compilation, so amazing this song really is!! i also love how all the songs flow nicely into one another, so you feel as though it is one long ride through time; no pauses in between to distract you from your voyage! :) i'd have to say, the one thing that usually "bothered" me about enigma cds was how they never really exceeded an hour... well this cd definitely surpasses that time period, and does so wonderfully... if you are a true fan of enigma, you won't regret making this purchase! enjoy!!
+ in nomine Christi, Amen +

5-0 out of 5 stars I'll be quick to the point here.....
I;ll be quick to the point here...this is a great CD to have great S&X to. Get it, and use it. ... Read more

list price: $17.98
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Asin: B000002URV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3509
Average Customer Review: 4.55 out of 5 stars
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So much unnecessary fuss was made over Enigma's juxtaposition of the sexual and sacred. After all, Prince had been doing it for years, and his take on it was far more interesting--and a lot more daring. But Enigma's MCMXC A.D. did manage to work a lot of people into a lather, both on the dance floor and behind the pulpit. Their inclusion of chanting monks in "Sadeness," over wooshy ambient noises and a slower hip-hop-appropriated beat was a sensation. "Callas Went Away" promised more than it could deliver, although "Mea Culpa" stands as one of the few shining moments on the CD. The idea of mixing new age aural wallpaper with beats that you can do a slow grind to is actually rather intriguing. Spicing it up with controversial religious chants isn't a bad idea either. But there's got to be something personal to it. After the initial novelty wears off, there's nothing to MCMXC A.D. other than bland, cold, impersonal repetition. Now, that might be what most people are used to, but what's so sexy about it? --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (119)

5-0 out of 5 stars Float Off Into Space With This Masterpiece
"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. :-)

5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant, emotional, sensual piece of art
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enigma is the best
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars mentally sexy music
When I was driving down the highway in my big big truck,listening to this music,I was nearly fell asleep.I almost lost my life.Then an angel flew down on me and said something very very sweet to me.She said I am a voice of ENIGMA.The next moment I was in the sky flying over the clouds.I was deeply absorbed in the journey of my pure mind.I was so refreshed and finally found myself in a starnge room full of sexy angels waiting for me for a long long time.This music is a kind of drug that take you higher and higher to the next spiritual level.
So passionate and alluring !!

5-0 out of 5 stars Was it REALLY that controversial?
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. ... Read more

3. Volume 3: Further in Time
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Asin: B00005ASHF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4896
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

While not as out-of-left-field revelatory and astonishing astheir exalted debut,nor as darkly magnetic as their sophomore follow-up,Volume 3: Further in Time finds Afro Celt SoundSystem fleshed out, funky, and fiercely fresh. Now a band of20-some-odd players, the Afro Celts push forward with unbounded energy andfocus, organically driven beats, and a thoroughly joyous fusion of WestAfrican and Irish traditional music enhanced with dissonant Easterninfluence, psychedelic trip-hop groove, and a monster flood of sonicwaves. The resultant sound is somehow both cutting-edge futuristic andprimitive in its visceral virility. Demba Barry steps up with anunexpectedly punchy African hip-hop-styled vocal on "Shadowman,""Lagan" plays out into an orchestral swan dive, and, throughout, JohnnyKalsi and Moussa Sissokho come on like gangbusters with the drums. RealWorld label honcho and world-music champion Peter Gabriel doesa stunning turn on the eminently catchy "When You're Falling," and Robert Plantcontributes a powerfully epic rock vocal on "Life Begins Again." Fineas all these moments are, the centerpiece of volume 3, where the bandachieves beyond perfect synthesis, is the ecstatic groove-lock on theAfrican acid ceilidh of "Colossus." Volume 3 is the tune-in turn-onwe've been waiting for. --Paige La Grone ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking.... I'm speechless
This has got to be the best world album ever made. It surpasses anything I've ever heard before....

After buying the Stigmata soundtrack and hearing Afro Celt's "Release" with Sinead 'O Connor I thought that it was good but not enough so to persuade me to buy their record. But when I heard of their new release on CNN's Worldbeat I became deeply curious. It wasn't until I heard three songs on two different occasions from a local radio station that I knew I had to obtain their third album Volume 3: Further In Time. I bought it with much haste and am so glad that I did because it fuses everything I look for in world music.

My favorites (though I love them all) would have to be the catchy single "When You're Falling" and "Persistence Of Life," which both feature the incredible male vocals of Peter Gabriel, the electronic-based "Shadowman," the African-dance tune "Further In Time," the rock/egyptian-tinged "Life Begin Again--" which is sung by Robert Plant--, "Go On Through" with its Celtic opening and its breakthrough to airy, alternative female singing by Pina, and the final track, "Onwards," which will enrapture you in its timeless beauty. In other words this CD is dazzling, notable, mesmerizing, and, simply put, world without boundaries. I'd suggest this record to anyone who likes plane good music. It's a good accomodation to anyone's home...

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply breathtaking
Being a huge Peter Gabriel fan, I loved the first single "When You're Falling" off "Volume 3:Further in Time". His raspy vocals add a haunting quality to the song, along with the other track he sings vocals on "Persistence of Memory". "When You're Falling" alone was well worth the purchase.

"Volume 3:Further In Time" is my first exposure to Afro Celt Sound System's music. As a huge fan of world music I was immediately struck by the combination of celtic and African music with electronic beats. The results is a daring, if not provocative new sound that proves that two different cultures can meet in the middle and sound good together. It is so refreshing to listen to music that isn't intentionally created to be mass marketed for public consumption. "When You're Falling" has already started receiving radio airplay where I live, thanks to Peter Gabriel. I most certainly have to check out the band's other two albums in the future.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Afro Celt and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Afro Celt fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any music collection
I bought this on the blind, mainly based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews, and I'm so glad I did. It's a personal favorite right now and is in heavy doesn't get old. Great mixture of sound, tempo, vocals. Everyone asks who it is. There are so many good tracks, but "Persistence of Memory" gives me goosebumps every time. Simply, fantastic.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Song
I would suggest buying this CD just for track 10: Persistence of Memory. This is such a wonderful and beautiful song. This makes the whole CD worth it. ... Read more

4. The Cross of Changes
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Asin: B000002U6E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13196
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Haunting, evocative, mysterious, and magnificent, Enigma's Cross of Changes offers nine musical explorations of sound and sensation that dazzle and amaze. The songs unfold in rolling waves, each more complex and richly layered than the last, yet each fully capable of standing alone as a musically satisfying experience. The standout track on this disc is "Return to Innocence," which combines Native American chanting, Celtic harmonies, and a deceptively simple lyric to devastating effect. At once esoteric and elemental, Cross of Changes is a fine example of the best the genre has to offer. --L.A. Smith ... Read more

Reviews (85)

5-0 out of 5 stars Enigma- Chaper 2
"Cross of Changes" is my favorite Enigma album, it's a great mix of beautiful ambient music. Michael Cretu had dropped the "Trademark" Gregorian chants and concentrading on other things instead. There is more variety here though, Native American chants on "Return to Innocence", Piano playing on "Dream of the dolphin" and horns on "Silent Warrior". On "Age of Loneliness" we'll hear a wonderful female voice and backround drums and some horns. But Cretu also sings ofcourse, we'll hear his lyrics on "Return to innocence" and on "Out from the deep". The album closes with a perfect song,the title track "Cross of Changes". There is no song that is bad here actually. I enjoyed them all. This album was also one of the absolute top albums of 1994. Flawless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic
There is nothing to puzzle over for the second installment from Enigma, "The Cross of Changes". It is simply a great album. This is an album that flows from beginning to end without a single dead spot, or a single wrong note. The music is airy with, at times, a bit of an edge. The lyrics are perfect and the voice is used as an instrument whether it is just singing notes, Gregorian or Native American chants. This is a perfect album to turn off all the lights, turn up the stereo and just get lost in the music.

There are many great songs on this album. "Return to Innocence" has a strong Native American feel to it with the chant that is interspersed with soft lyrics. The music is so good that it has been pieces of it have been used in movies. Most notable is the ending portion of "The Eyes of Truth" in the file "The Matrix". The guitar screams through a solo in "I Love You...I'll Kill You" giving the song one of the more heavier edges on the album. "Silent Warrior" uses chants throughout in the background. In the middle of the song, tribal drums come forward providing support to the lyrics.

Enigma's songs are almost like stories. The song may grow and change as it progresses and many have several different movements to them. There is a beautiful blend of the different types of instruments in perfect proportions making the sum more than its parts. This is one band where you'll want to collect all their albums, and "The Cross of Changes" is a must have to any collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cross Purposes
Enigma mesmerized everyone in 1990 when his/their debut became (we're all adults here, right?) a bedroom classic. He also took the music world by storm, and soon everyone from Deep Forrest to the Benedictine Monks were marking their territory with similar forays into new age and ambient music. Which meant that Michael Cretu was left with either trying to make "Sadeness-ness" or pushing his sounds in different directions.

To that end, he certainly did try! There's very little of the Gregorian sampling from the first album here, and in its place are explorations of Native American music and electric guitars. Not all of it works as well as the debut (those guitar solos in particular), but "Return To Innocence" is probably the best song he's ever come up with. Much like a modern day Alan Parsons Project, Michael Cretu builds songs like a sonic architect, layering images for effect, and on the opposite side, effects to evoke imagery.

In "I Love You...I'll Kill You," the sounds come off as dangerous and slinky. Considering the song was originally used in a stinker of a stalker movie called "Sliver," it fits. But the catcher is the song's final verse, where the voice whispers, "I love you, I'll kill you, but I'll love you forever." Now THAT'S the kind of freakiness that got the first album noticed, and it's the closest "Cross Of Changes" gets to the brilliance of "MCMXC A.D." (Though I could have lived without the rock guitar.)

While a pretty good album overall, I'd still recommend the debut first, and then "Cross Of Changes." If you're looking for more of the bombastic songs from Enigma's career, I'd then suggest going with the "L.S.D." hits collection, which skips the ambiance and concentrates more on popular selections.

5-0 out of 5 stars Radiant!
This CD was awesome! Michael Cretu has done it again. With his first release of Enigma, I was shocked at the originality. It was just awesome how he incorporated different (enigmatic) sounds in his music and made it like one whole song. His first album was awesome with the revival of the Gregorian Chants and marvelous lyrics; now he has broght a different, powerful work with the same essence. The Cross of Changes concentrates in a Native American style instead of the Gregorain Chants. It is beautifully done! I love how Michael Cretu has thought of different cultures and times: Middle Ages of Gregorian Chants, ancient acoustic sounds mixed with modern synthtic sound, and in the song "Silent Warrior," the lyrics explain the Spanish takeover of Mayan culture. "They took their land/ They took their lives..../ White men won in the name of God." Very interesting lyrics throughout the music many involving ethical values. It begins with "The Second Chapter" describing that "we came out from the deep to help and understand and not to kill" and follows with different believes, but finally concludes: "If you understand or if you don't/ If you believe or if you doubt/ There's a universal justice/ And the eyes of the truth/ Are always watching you."

4-0 out of 5 stars It sets a pure mood.
Even though to the new fan I'd recommend the "Greatest Hits", this is still a great disc for anyone. It does include "Return To Innocence", which may be their biggest hit ever, and though the rest isn't as catchy, it's very good. "Out From The Deep" is another stand-out, and "Age Of Loneliness" and "Eyes Of Truth" are both wonderful as well. This does remind me a bit of "Deep Forest", and of some things from "Peter Gabriel" too. It's a great mix of new age, pop, and world music. ... Read more

5. Voyageur (Special Package)
list price: $18.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B0000C7PQK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3407
Average Customer Review: 3.81 out of 5 stars
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Enigma, aka Michael Crétu, turns out more light electronic ambience on Voyageur, mixing in an occasional twist but sticking pretty close to his successful, easily digested formula. Since Enigma’s massively popular debut MDMXC A.D., Crétu has moved toward a more New Age/adult contemporary sound, culminating with 2000’s bland The Screen Behind The Mirror. As with that record, Voyageur’s weakest moments happen when Crétu puts his mediocre vocals front and center on tracks like "Total Eclipse of the Moon." Better are more beat-oriented songs like "Boum-Boum" that concentrate on seedier, sexier material and stay away from Crétu’s sappier instincts. While overall, Voyageur counts as an improvement over Mirror, Enigma still hasn’t found a replacement for the Gregorian chants and whispery techno that made MDMXC A.D. such a groovy sensation. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (120)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Cocoon
In the late 1990, a soulful mix of dance beats, humming vocals, deep sighs and Gregorian chants came out of the blue and its name was Sadeness Part1. The result was massive hysteria and the MCMXC a.D album topped the charts around the world.

Then, in 1993 Cross of Changes was released and everyone admired the diversity in the music of Cretu's project, Enigma.

Three years later, Le Roi est Mort reached the stores. This unbearably ingenious album is still considered to be Enigma's best.

More recently, in 2000, Carl Orff's classic opera piece, Carmina Burana, received the best sampling treatment to date and the result was the unmistakably majestic sound of the smash hit album, The Screen Behind the Mirror.

After spending two or three years in production, Cretu released his last offering, Voyageur. Some consider it truly marvellous, others a disaster. I'd say its both, and that's what makes it so special.

Michael Cretu, has imprisoned his child, Enigma, in a cocoon, expecting it to transform, to reinvent itself, and to come out shimmeringly beautiful. This cocoon would be Voyageur, in which the battle between past and present takes place.

Voyageur's basic asset is the rhythms, rather than the melodies, which symbolize the struggle to survive, to transform, to become new. Voyageur can sound really strange in some places, but that's its beauty. It's just Enigma taking a different form.

Begginners will find this album enjoyable, while die-hard fans will either love it or loathe it. It's more like a question of personal expectations about Enigma.

Voyageur is Enigma5, it has brought changes and it has raised questions. but, its Enigma6 that will bring the answers..

PS: the version provided here, is not the one with the original cover (as potrayed in the picture) but the limited edition version, which, ironically, you can find almost anywhere.

But, what about the songs?

FROM EAST TO WEST: The same flute introduction sound which you could hear in the previous albums marks the starting point of the 5th enigma project, as well. Just when you think that nothing has changed, a dark techno-like beat comes in the surface and an intense instrumental with whistling sounds and breathtaking effects welcomes you in the Enigma5 experience. Good, but short

VOYAGEUR: Probably one of the best tracks on the album, if not one of the best songs of Enigma. An alluring deep bassline which plays from the beginning till the end of the song and the good old French Sandra vocals which still sound as fresh as they did in Sadeness, 13 years ago.

INCOGNITO: After a short break from Voyageur, in which Cretu lits a cigarette, a mumbling male voice, which plays the part of Incognito's bassline takes you in this strange, but interesting number. It sounds a lot like Chemical brothers, however a sample of Sadeness somewhere in the middle makes it clear that what you hear IS Enigma.

PAGE OF CUPS: a chill-out instrumental number, very well constructed, and if you hear it in the right place at the right time you're sure to love it. However, it doesn't have much of the mystical atmosphere that you may find in other Enigma instrumentals such as Traces (E4) or Shadows in Silence (E3). Yet, it is pleasant and relaxing

BOUM-BOUM: Great pop song, which could have been better if not for the vocoders. Nevertheles, it is one of the most pleasant Enigma pop recordings.

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE MOON: Nice, yet incomplete, it sounds too short, and a little bit dated (ex.Cretu's 79's Moonlight and Flowers). However, that's a good thing since this song might be considered as an introduction to the next retro number, LOOK OF TODAY

LOOK OF TODAY: The chorus lines sound a lot like ABC's Look Of Love. (that's the look, that's the look). This was done in purpose, since this song is about vanity and passing trends. What else would be more capable of expressing those Ideas than an 80s-tehno sounding number?

IN THE SHADOWN IN THE LIGHT: Nice lyrics, but why so much distortion on the vocals? Pleasant, though. Some may find this song really moving, however, it didn't work that way for me.

WEIGHTLESS: Great Number! Probably too short, but those indescribable sounds that come from nowhere are enough to put you to sleep. Nice!

THE PIANO: If it wasn't for the cheesy title, this song could mean much more. Nice Ibiza sounds, great chill-out rhythms and atmosphere. All in all, a pleasant trip through sunseting Ibiza.

FOLLOWING THE SUN: This probably is the best track. You really have to listen to it to get the picture. Nice old Enigma school. Does this mean we're going back to the basics?

As I said before, E6 will bring the answers...

5-0 out of 5 stars There is to be an end to everything
I saw it coming with the release of The Screen Behind the Mirror. Your typical Enigma was ending. The 4th album did not have as many chants and had a harder edge to the music. Everything good eventually has to end so something different can start.
No matter how wonderful the Gregorian chants are, there is only so much you can do with them. I love MCMXC a.D. Who doesn't? But I don't want every cd released by Enigma to be a protoype of their first. The music would no longer be so enigmatic like it was because you know what to expect.
So whats up with the "new" Enigma? Is it Euro pop trash? Is it silly? Has Cretu lost his mind? Or is it just for us immature people who might like to listen to music legends like Madonna and Metallica?
Ok, so I realize here everybody has a different taste of music. I can handle that. Not everybody is going to like this new sound of Enigma. Some like it better. Some like it just as well. And some people don't care for Madonna or Metallica as well.
But see the good in this change! So it doesn't have Gregorian chants anymore. Get over it! If you need Gregorian chants, go listen to MCMXC. It will always be there. That won't change. If you need songs like Beyond the Invisible, go listen to Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi. If I am not mistaken, that should be there too.
If you take the time to listen to Voyaguer, you might notice Cretu has almost hid little bits of the past in this cd. You can hear examples from Principles of Lust, like another reviewer wrote. I have heard it. You would be surprised what you hear that was taken from previous albums.
And everything else in this cd is brand new. I was taken back the first time I heard it. But I don't think its immature or only listened to by immature people. I see no reasoning from the sound of the new music to be able to make and justify the statement like that.
To be truthful, I love it. In fact...
It's currently taking N'Sync's spot in my cd player.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
I've always enjoyed Enigma and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...I also downloaded some of the free MP3 downloads that are available on
I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Eingma fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! No better than this new style!
I haven't been one to really appreciate the words of others when
they praise music because usually it's such a matter of personal
taste but in this case I have to make a special exception. This
is kick ass music that is just not able to be passed up! It
screams for you to listen to it more. Even more so it is just
this feeling of having no reason to listen but listening anyway,
that enables us to feel what he is saying. This feeling requires
no effort from the listener, just a few listens to get the gist
of what Michel Cretu was trying to express. He does away with
the sampling of the past CD's, this time settling for a
beautiful arrangement of guitars and strange sounds you'll
wonder about.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but don't buy the good reviews
I am an insatiable Enigma fan. This is my favorite group of all time. I bought MXC before it ever hit it big, and I marked on my calendar with excitement for the every three years Enigma puts out a record. I own every album, every remix and every DVD. This album is good, but it is missing all the brilliant layering of the earlier albums. "The Screen Behind the Mirror" keeps getting degraded on these reviews but it is a far better album than Voyageur. At least the signature Enigma sound is intact on that album. Cretu has become FAR too in love with his voice on this album and it actually ruins some otherwise good songs. Also, the lyrics are unbelievably cheesy at times. The album will grow on you, but it is still an overall disappointment.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO BACK TO YOUR OLD SOUND ENIGMA! You can still "explore" the boundaries of music with your old sound intact. ... Read more

6. Deep Forest
list price: $17.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000029IH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18006
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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The primordial unknown--or the modern urban dweller's impressions thereof--has long been a staple of New Age music. So it was only a matter of time before some studio whiz got the notion to take the translation process one step further and bring that atmosphere to the dance floor. It's definitely authentic--the creators studied and borrowed genuine chants from African tribes--but just as importantly, it's remarkably seductive. The chart-topping signature song, "Sweet Lullaby," is indicative of what's going on in the grooves of the other nine tracks; ambient house beats burble pastorally while "multi-culti" samples ebb and flow gracefully, even romantically, through the mix. -- David Sprague ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars Somewhere, deep in the jungle, are living some little men...
This record is a must have, because it defined a new era of crossover-style music. It took Pygmies and put them to an Enigma beat, with an occasional broken English (Dutch syntax?) commentary. Sounds cheezy, but it really works.

The band describes themselves as not a band. "Deep Forest" is a project, according to its creators. Therefore, the album is a stand-alone work, except that it enjoyed such an unpredicted success that it spawned a series of projects.

I first bought this album as an import in the early 90's. "Sweet Lullaby" had been getting some pretty frequent radio play on the San Francisco alternative rock stations, and it was simply intriguing. Nobody had ever heard voices like this. Mix in ambient jungle sounds. Synthetic beat. What a combination? Sound strange? It's not that different from what we hear today from Fatboy Slim and Moby, except of course with Pygmies. I don't think many have dared to replicate it.

Now, it's become a near-desert island CD for me. I've memorized the Pygmy chants. I've lost several copies of it--ex girlfriends, auto-thefts, etc. . . Always, I replace it. That's a pretty strong recommendation.

I've heard Deep Forest collaborations with Enigma, and Peter Gabriel, which are works of merit. Frankly, I think that this is still their most ingenious work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! Absolutely extraordinary!
I first became familiar with Deep Forest after being amazed with their 1999 live album release "Made in Japan". Although it wouldn't happen until a while later, I later checked out their regular studio albums and finally got a hold of their self-titled debut album and I must say that this is a really amazing album and as it was ground-breaking back during 1993 when it came out, this album still stands out amongst the countless jabs at blending world music and modern New Age rhythms with mainstream dance music because it remains the only album I'm aware of that blends African Pygmy chants with Euro dance, New Age, and Pop in such a successful way. Even today, this album still has the power to take you to a place of harmony that is entire universes away from a hellish life and unkind world that seems to define reality. The album overall has a remote yet vibrant sound that is very natural and earthy in sound. Even the darker parts have a positive mood. Four Tracks on this album are actually two tracks in two separate versions.

The international chart topping hit "Lullaby" is what most Deep Forest fans are likely familiar with, making it's way onto several New Age and/or world compilations with it's light hip-hop beat but if you're going for it on here, you may have limited luck as the version on the album is quite different and must I say very unique too. There are two versions on this album. One is a 'regular' album version. This version is a bit darker and more ambient in nature than the single edit found on let's say the "Pure Moods" compilation. To me, this was a bit of a surprise but albeit, a very pleasant surprise. The second version towards the end of the album is called the "Ambient Mix" edit. This version has no defined rhythm and is mostly just ambient keyboards for the melody but has the amazing haunting chorus but the result is a fine and enchanting version of "Lullaby" heard in a totally different light. This version is very beautiful. The live version of this song though on the live recording entitled "Made in Japan" though is absolutely incredible! Give it a listen. They made an already great track even greater on the live album but let's not change the subject of this review. "Hunting" is a really unique and high-energy dance track that has a strong Sub-Saharan African Pygmy style with the odd voice effects and perfectly added to a fast rhythm. My favorite song in the first half of this album is "Nightbird". This song is just amazing. It has a very haunting and dark ambient sound with Pygmy voices up front and a atmospheric sound that gives the feel of a cloudy evening after a thunderstorm moves out. Now that's some really good music there.

I feel that there are two more pairs of songs that are almost like one song broken up in two. The first pair of songs are almost like remixes of the same song "Forest Hymn" with two different versions. The first version is the seventh track "Sahara Walk". The second version is the title of the same name "Forest Hymn". The first one "Sahara Walk" is a rather obscure but really danceable song that blends some old school hip-hop beats with African Pygmy voices, New Age, Pop and Dance to create a really engaging and highly addictive song. The haunting flutes give the song a rather haunting feel but at the same time, a very warm and sunny afternoon atmosphere. To me, this is a great thing. This song is one of my favorite tracks on this album and ranks as one of Deep Forest's best songs in their career outside of "Made In Japan". I'll get to the second part later on in this review but in the mean time it perfectly binds right into "White Whisper". This song is a fabulous song with really unique voice effects that alternate between the left and right ears and the song becomes a really dramatic but really uplifting and heavenly dance song.

The album closes on an epic scale with the best song on this entire album entitled "Forest Hymn". If you liked "Sahara Walk" then you must hear "Forest Hymn". Although the live version on their "Made In Japan" was phenomenal, the studio version on here rivals that version with a totally different beat altogether. Which ever version you like there's no denying this songs positive energy that radiates from its 6 minute length. If you have felt down or really low-spirited, then "Forest Hymn" will let the sun shine on you with the haunting Pygmy chants, the bright sunny melody and the energetic drum loop. I'm not sure who originally made the drum loop but I love it and the drum loop perfectly fits on this song. If there is anything wrong with this track, which I don't see, I would say that it gets rather repetitive from like the 3 minute mark onwards but that's just me. From the way I look at it, I can imagine this song as being like the soundtrack to the sun shining after a heavy thunderstorm or like a new era of happiness and joy begins after a dark era has ended. It's that good. All the remain tracks I passed up are just as great as the songs I pointed out but the ones I mentioned deserved the most attention.

This album is a must have purchase and let me tell you, you will very proud of owning this album. It is a really great thing that their self-titled debut album actually did at least go platinum but I don't understand why this album is no longer in print here in the United States. Amidst the negative nature of much of the mainstream schtuff, it is a major loss that a great and remarkable achievement in music isn't even available anymore. To me, the fact that this CD is no longer carried in the United States is one of the greatest crimes in the history of music. If you can find it used or wherever a copy is available, please buy it! You will fly to a place of beauty, fun, happiness, and positivity. We could really use some positive music nowadays and this album delivers just that! Many artists have blended African sounds with modern electronic beats but Deep Forest's debut remains the hallmark and stands out in so many ways from it's peers. If you love this album you must for their sophomore effort "Boheme" which is just as good even if it's totally different altogether.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for any listening library
Absolute must-have for a true music library. A solid, original, entrancing, and memorizing album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooked from the first time i heard it!
I just wanted to say that a girl i dated summer of 1996 played this CD for me and from day 1, i thought it was great. The music along w/ the vocals flow very well making for very great and relaxing listening. From the samples i heard off Boheme and Music Detected, i wasn't impressed with the sound of the vocals but the music seemed nice. However, Comparsa sounds more like the original sound i enjoy so much. I believe World Mix looks to be a very good buy as well if you enjoy the original sound.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD!
This lost gem is just mind-blowingly beautiful and glowing iwth positive beauty. Breaking ground by incorporating sounds from Africa and blending them with modern dance New Age beats, the result is a very remote but very upbeat and uplifting classic that will stand for years to come.

My favorites are "Hunting", "Nightbird" and "Forest Hymn". I especially love the last song with it's slight Gospel-like undertone to it. The Ambient Mix of "Lullaby" is very pretty too.

Go out and find this if you can because from what I'm aware of, this CD isn't carried on U.S. retail markets as of at the time of writing this review. It's worth the hard search! I guarantee it! ... Read more

7. Enigma 3: Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!
list price: $17.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B000000WC1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13195
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Album Details

With Over 17 Million Albums Sold Worldwide, Enigma Returns with their ThirdAlbum featuring 12 New Lush and Moody Tracks. ... Read more

Reviews (92)

4-0 out of 5 stars Enigma's third chapter captivating as the last two.
The interesting thing about Enigma is that between their 3 albums, no 2 are different and yet they're the same. Frontman Michael Cretu has written another otherworldly album, but its differences between the others weakens it some. MCMXC a.D. gave us dance grooves, chants, and seductive French lyrics. How can we forget the "Prends-moi, je suis a toi" ("Take me, I'm yours") of "Mea Culpa"? Cross of Changes took that one, and added another element, more lyrics, harder drum loops, and more wisdom. Le Roi Est Mort.. changed its sound dramatically. It's still obviously Enigma, but it has hushed drum loops, a futuristic, aquatic sound, and noticable more lyrics. What weakens the album is it's lack of depth that the first two had. Songs like "Why..?" have been done before and add little to the album. Its two instrumental songs are breathtaking ("Shadows In Silence" and "Almost Full Moon"). "Morphing Thru Time" stands out as one of the best songs on the album, as does "The Roundabout", "Beyond The Invisible", and "TNT For The Brain". The album's intro, "Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi" is the perfect way to begin. I love the chorus and the way the female voice comes in. Definitely one of the best albums out there, but I still miss the sensuality and mystery of the first two.

5-0 out of 5 stars Guys, the best is here!!!
It's the second review that I do about Enigma albums after "The cross of changes", and now my interest is taken from "Le roi est mort, vive le roi!". The songtitle is a good introduction to your acustic adventure. "Morphine thru time" makes you calm and its catchy melody covers everything like a velvet sheet. The same feelings are producted by "Beyond the invisible", which represents a main element of the album. This is followed by "Why!...". THIS IS THE BEST!!! It'll guide you to another universe, with sweet sounds but also with the power of the singer's voice. He shows his troubles and the questions he can't answer to. The next song must be heard in the dark, with no disturbs: the dull percussions and the pleasant melody of "Shadows in silence" are the right ways to leave our world for some minutes and find another one to land on. "The child in us" reminded me to people and places I knew in the past, and I know there's a spirit inside us that will never die. The 8th song is "T.N.T. for the brain". It goes a bit faster than the other songs, and you can hear how modern sounds and the words whispered from the singer make this one a great experience. All turns into relax with "Almost full moon", which follows Morphine thru time's rhythm, so you can find the first songs' calm...but just for a moment: "The roundabout" comes with dance passion and tribal drums. It's time again for a quiet song ("Prism of life")which has continuos voices in the background that go with a same kind of percussions. Finally, "Odyssey of the mind" closes the circle created by this incredible album. Once again Enigma shows, to the ones who care, that real music can be made only through real emotions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Le roi est mort.......vive Enigma 3
Is absoluteley the best of all Enigma Records.

Check it and buy really fantastic.....!
8 Years old but I think is always like a new one and a very
timeless Style.

3-0 out of 5 stars The King is half undressed
Enigma's third adventure in sonic atmospherics is hindered by a formula that, while still interesting, sounds mired in an inability to move anywhere new. While great for fans and anyone who may have worn the first and second Enigma discs out, it doesn't add anything fresh to the vocabulary. Unlike "The Cross Of Changes," which took a few new sources for its material (the Native American rhythms and chants), "Le Roi est Mort..." feels more like a sophomore slump than the second album did.

The other drawback on this disc is that Michael Cretu has decided that he should do more of the singing. He comes off as a rougher voiced Phil Collins, which is not a good thing. "Why!" is a pretty good song nonetheless, but might have come across better in the more capable hands of Collins, or maybe a Peter Gabriel. Even with my reservations, someone must have thought the songs on "Le Roi Est Mort..." were pretty good, because four of these selections crossed to the "L.S.D." anthology.

Probably more than any of the four original Enigma albums, this is the most song heavy. There is definitely a push into the more sappy tendencies of New Age here ("Child In Us"), but if you're a fan of these sonic landscapes, then you'll probably dig the big boom of "TNT For The Brain." Other listeners can stick with the first two albums. ALSO: If you can find it, the original acetate slip card design of the earlier CD releases are an enhancement to "Le Roi Est Mort..."

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent atmospheric music
When Michael Cretu released Enigma's first album in 1990, I wasn't at all impressed. Somehow it's hit-song, "The Principles of Lust", turned me off with its poppy rhythm. I never intended to buy this record either, but by virtue of chance I got acquainted with it. I was so surprised! The music on "Le Roi Est Mort" is excellent, very deep and emotional, atmospheric and entertaining. Michael Cretu definitely stepped forward from his debut. His new-age rhythms are carfully interwoven with early Jean-Michel Jarre references, ethnic and world music influences, and Enigma's trademark gregorian chanting. But not only that, but also chanting in Latvian language and in Sanscrit are inserted into the sonic texture, and it's all blended together just perfectly.

What surprises me most about Enigma 3 is its dual-faced nature. If you feel like relaxing, you just put the CD on, and you have a pleasant listen that is very easy on your brain. But if you want to look deeper, you'll find so many layers of sound, that any demanding listener would be satisfied. This is a proof of quality. I'm also amazed at the strength of songwriting on Enigma 3, as it is a collection of equally strong tracks. I'm quite surprised at people complaining about Cretu's vocals. This is no opera, and Michael's singing blends with the music perfectly, never sounding odd or off-key. Female vocals are also good and suit the nature of the music.

I think this is one of those rare albums that has the potential to please anyone without sounding poppy or mainstream. Cretu proves his strength as a composer and performer. Very recommended. ... Read more

8. Seed
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00008DAN1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6326
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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In 1996, the Afro-Celt Sound System formed a sound clash that mixed Irish music, dance floor grooves, West African percussion, and the kora. While there were highlights, often with help from high profile singing guests like Sinead O'Connorand Peter Gabriel, the albums were fragmented. Now the members have shortened their name to the AfroCelts for their forth album, declaring that the Sound System isn't applicable because they've evolved into a more conventional and fully formed group. The change sounds radical, but it's really just a refinement in their working relationship and songwriting skill. Consequently, Seed holds together more strongly as an album. The songs are more consistently crafted and sonically rich here, with different voices and instruments coming to the fore, but never outshining the greater whole. Highlights include the blues slide guitar-driven title track, the wholly acoustic (which is a first!) and Irish jig-inspired "Ayob's Song/As You Were," and the Radiohead-influenced "All Remains." --Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great album!
This newest outing from the now Afro Celts is absolutely amazing!

The last album from ACSS was a truly awesome blend of techno, Celtic and African rhythms and had a slightl mainstream sound. This follow-up to that album leaves behind the excessive techno elements and is somewhat of a return to the more remote sounds of the first two albums.

My favorite songs on this album are "Nevermore", "Rise Above It", "Deep Channel" and "Green" which is simply an instrumental version of "Nevermore".

Afro Celts have once again delivered another amazing set of music. Buy it today!

5-0 out of 5 stars Their best album yet?
Possibly so... The AfroCelts (formerly known as Afro Celt Sound System) have released their fourth album "Seed" and it does not disappoint. After bringing out the amazing "Further In Time" back in 2001 I really didn't think that the AfroCelts would be able to make another record as phenomenal as their last two but they've definitely proven themselves as great artists and I am very impressed. New CDs have been pouring in like crazy, as I'm quite addicted to music, but I haven't been able to listen to anything else lately and it only gets better every time I hear it.

Despite my love for them, at first I was a bit reluctant on buying their new album because so many people were using the word 'change' to describe their slight modification in sound, which terrified me since I already liked them the way that they were, but after hearing "Seed" all the way through I can feel rather than hear the difference as it's more organic and less commercialized (not that there's anything wrong with that). They're more of a group now and less of a studio act for they have brought in real musicians to perform live recordings of actual instruments, such as Jesse Cook on the flamenco guitar and Hossam Ramzy on the mazhar shaker and the Egyptian tabla.

That, worried hesitaters, is the difference everyone keeps referring to.

Although they took the sound system out of their name, there's still club-friendly dance beats melding in with African and Celtic melodies. And, of course, the beautiful, ethereal vocals are never far away and very much present. Their approach this time is simply a gentler flow with less of a high-energy drum presence that's much more soothing. And instead of using well-known names to help sell their records, the AfroCelts have shown that they are indeed a strong band and that they can stand out on their own two feet without having contributions from big-name artists like Sinead O Connor and Peter Gabriel.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
As A fan of a variety of mostly hard rock and metal bands, Afrocelts is a refreshing different CD. Each Song Has Texture and different sounds in it. This Album was much better than the previous Further In Time, which had a few flaws that made it not as good. The Song Ayub's Song is not one of my favorites. Also, This CD should have been longer I know there are some 10 minute songs, but it needs to have more material to it. This is why it got 4 stars.

Cyberia: Interesting. A more reflexive song. One of the better songs on this album. I like the vocals, but I wish they were in English....10/10
Seed: More upbeat and festive. Less to my liking than other songs, but still a good and song.8/10
Nevermore: Very good. Vocals are good. Upbeat and pensive at the same time. 10/10
The otherside: Not particulary
Ajubs Song/As You Were: I don't like this song. It goes on for too long, really. 6/10
Rise: REally Part of Rise Above It, but still functions as a song on it's own 9/10
Rise Above It: One of the best songs on this album. Long, but doesn't drag on for too long like some songs (cough St. Anger)10/10
Deep Channel: amazing...feels like you are dipping into a pool of calm water 10/10
All Remains: MY Favorite, the intro is really cool 10/10
Green: Pretty Good, it's just nevermore intrumental 9/10

Best Song: All Remains
Worst Song: Ayubs Song/ As You Were
Song Which Needed English Vocals: Cyberia

3-0 out of 5 stars New Age Getting a Little Old
For an act known for intriguing and innovative fusions of fresh sounds from around the world, Afro Celts (a.k.a. Afro Celt Sound System) are getting dangerously close to old-school new age. That is, predictable and unexciting. What we have here is less of the innovation and more of the Westernized "world music" (a wishy-washy term if ever there was one) that has been pushed by record companies and used in so-called exotic TV commercials for more than a decade. This is evident in the competent but unexceptional African vocal stylings in "Seed" and "The Other Side" here. Meanwhile, the authentic Irish folk sounds in "Ayub's Song/As You Were" and "Deep Channel" are so authentic as to verge on the stereotypical. About the only sources of excitement on this album are the brooding and ominous "Rise Above It" and the genuinely moving ballad "All Remains." But otherwise, here we see that Afro Celts are moving comfortably into new age sounds that are more concerned with competence and pleasantness, rather than innovation or experimentation. It's a pleasant and interesting listen, but just a little too comfortable overall. [~doomsdayer520~]

5-0 out of 5 stars Raw
My first exposure to Afrocelts was Further in Time, which is an outstanding album. But just as much as that work seemed revolutionary in the scheme of my music experience, Seed is equally startling. It contains typical Afrocelt phrasings and vocalizations (those haunting and breathy accents uniquely Afrocelt), but definitely a reflection of growth. I can't decide which is better-the before or after-but perhaps this sort of distinction is unnecessary. Seed is just different. The title is an accurate reflection of the piece, which is much, much more organic than previous endeavors. The acoustic elements are much more predominant, and while the percussion is just as much a part of the music, it undergirds everything a very earthy and raw framework rather than the dense (almost musically opaque) beat of previous works. The cultural fusion is more prevalent too, especially with the intriguing duality of track 5. The vocals, as usual, are unique and varied from song to song. I suppose that's typical of this group and, in my opinion, one of the great artistic flavors in the music. While the electronic side is still very much a part of the overall effect it's more of a seasoning rather than a base. Different, in this case, is good. ... Read more

9. Volume 1: Sound Magic
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000000HPO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7308
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Bodhran and kora? Talking drums and Uilleann pipes? Echoing ancient trade roots from a thousand years ago, Sound Magic reunites two seemingly disparate music traditions in a contemporary setting, reaching for a dance-oriented but spiritual hybrid that takes on a life of its own. Producer Simon Emmerson assembles some noteworthy artists including Ayub Ogada, Davy Spillane, Manu Katche, Caroline Lavelle, James McNally (of the Pogues), Iarla O Lionaird, and Masamba Diop to create evocative, clubby grooves that also incorporate samples and flavors from Armenia and the East. With its multilayered rich textures, Sound Magic grafts cultural respect and urban hipness for the global village of the '90s. --Derek Rath ... Read more

Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Future primitive
Well, over seven years since it's release and much has been said about this first release by A.C.S.S. They are everything good said and more. There are not enough superlatives to describe this hybrid sound that evokes Highlander images, a morning mist shrouded in a damp dew, revealing glistening mountain tops beyond the vibrant green forest or a red sky sunset, breaking through the clouds, highlighting the shimmering crytaline waters, taking the listener to far away lands, known and unknown. The music is magical, it has a feel of aborigines dancing with the elves in a hipnotic, capricious rhythmical motion , swirling and joining together to form an elongated celtic knot. The music is undescribable, it is like Enya to a pounding ancient rhythmic beat, Celtic harps weaving with programmed keyboards, uilleann pipes, various flutes combined with talking and programmed drums, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, cellos and violas thrashing with bongos, doudouk and kora precussion, it is old world meshing with technology, it is music for a new age. As suggested by others, if you are just getting into Afro Celt Sound System, start your listening experience with this first and most excellent release, then move in progression with the band. The music is as worthy now as then so do yourself a favor and buy this disc. Later put this disc on and travel within your mind to magical lands beyond, all within the confines of your home. The space between your ears will thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cairo Egypt on an Irish landscape
I was first introduced to Afro Celt Sound System when I bought Eleation 1 wnad it had Sure As Not part on it. The song captivated me like nothing in a long time. A blend of trance, Celtic and African instruments, WOW! Truly magic. The album title is perfect. It's pure magic. I never thouhgt of seamingly opposite kinds of music could blend so well together. I have gained a great deal of respect for the Real World Label. Almost evey song stands out on this CD with sure As Knot beig the shining star.

The version on Elevation Vol.1 compilation had just part one. The version on here is almost ten minutes long with two parts almost like two tracks in one. The second part is almost as captivating as part one. The second half has more African chants and even some cildren voices and is a bit faster and trancey. This is perfect evening music. If you like Petet Gabriels Passion, Passion Sources, or even Enya, this is a must have as well as AFSS other two albums. They are exquisit.

This CD is much more folky and is almost opposite to Further In Time which is very technoish. Very little of the techno sounds are present on this CD. If you want world music for the soul get this CD. It's SO worth it.

I don't think the review I wrote on here could do this album justice. It's so outstanding is a sheer work of art and talent.

Definately one of the best world music CDs ever made!

And they only get better with each album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ditto
Five stars to all four of the albums put out by these grand folks. I do not need to offer a description as other reviewers have done a perfect job; but if it's helpful to you to see an emphatic "ditto to that" as a review, then here it is.

This, along with Enya, is truly my above all, favorite music across the board. Beats all my other faves in every other music category.

4-0 out of 5 stars A true merger of Celtic and African styles.
Imagine Irish jigs and reels powered by a heavy jungle beat, African jazz supported by Irish pipes, whistles and fiddles, songs of prayer combined with high-kicking dance tunes, delicate harp melodies with synthesized accents -- all linked together by driving African percussion and an electric rock sensibility. That's the Afro Celt Sound System, but it doesn't begin to cover their sound.

The Afro Celt Sound System isn't a band so much as a cooperative of musicians intrigued by an idea. United under the umbrella of Peter Gabriel's Real World label, nearly two dozen musicians added their personal touch to make the idea a reality.

The initial product of their joining is Volume 1: Sound Magic. It cannot be described as Celtic or African in nature; yet, both styles are evident in spades. Sound Magic is a true union of two completely dissimilar musical genres.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is quite simply a highly essential album from an extremely unique group who fuse seamingly opposite cultures together: Celtic strings & African drums! This album started it all. The music is very traditional and has little of the electronic mayhem of their following albums. "Sure-As-Knot" is absolutely haunting and enchanting!

Although there isn't exactly any filler on here, I'm not so much into the final track but that's just because it doesn't quite rank up there with the others. Still, it's pretty good, just the others are better.

Although not exactly up there with latter albums, This CD is nonetheless a need! Go out and buy it! ... Read more

10. Vol. 2, Release
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Asin: B00000IWUW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6155
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Lots of traditional-music recordings thrive when they're at their purest, stripping away influence to revel in a core sound. The exact opposite is the case with the Afro Celt Sound System's sophomore effort, Release, which hits its highest plateaus when it's juiciest and pulpiest, throwing everything into the mix. Hailed for their cross-cultural toss-together of traditional West African and Celtic musics on an electronic backbone, the Afro Celts indulge their digital-age ability to throw African drum patterns behind Uilleann pipes and Irish tin whistle all with a club-ready pulse. Their debut and various appearances at World of Music, Arts, and Dance (WOMAD) festivals cemented their success at this mixological approach, and Release makes the clarity of the group's vision all the more astonishing. Perhaps it's what Irish violinist Martin Hayes has called the "lonesome touch," but the Celtic contribution often squares up as a yearning cry, contrasting vividly with the techno beats and West African drumming. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Reviews (56)

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Musicians playing real instruments and really singing!
Walked into a boutique out in Capitola, CA and ACSS:Release was playing. As soon as I got to a record store down in Carmel, both Vol 1:Sound Magic and Vol 2:Release were purchased and they have been regulars in my CD changer ever since. This harmonious blend of Celtic and African with everything else you can imagine has an accessible but eclectic feel that draws you in on several different levels. I think the reason that ACSS shines is that nothing is overdone. The unique blending of all of the styles represented is so well done that you don't have time to get bored with any one element. The percussion is spot on(no drum machines here!), and the lovely and well placed vocals add a nice touch to the great array of instruments employed. Like many of the other reviewers, I am partial to the pseudo-techno style of "Hypnotica", but the whole album is heavy duty. The oh-so lovely vocals on "Amber" just send me every time I hear it.

If you like this release, don't forget to check out "Shorelife" and "Mo-Di" by MOUTH MUSIC.

5-0 out of 5 stars hypnotic, pulsating, and universal
This CD soars! I bought their first effort, Sound Magic,blind from Amazon based on customers' reviews and was blown away by the melding of Celtic ethereal with African heartbeat. Waiting for the follow up, I was fearful that the band might end up being be a one trick pony. This CD puts those fears to rest. Hypnotic, pulsating, and universal. At times, I'd almost swear that I hear sung Japanese and an alto didjeridoo blended in that digital beat. Most certainly this CD won't appeal to the Celtic purists out there, but that would be their loss. Hybrid vigor is strong vigor and this is as strong music gets. Both the vocal and instrumental versions of Release (It) rejoice in life and make me want to dance in celebration. If its spirit doesn't grab you, you'd better check your pulse. Guest vocalist Sinead O'Connor has never been more at home in a song. Dance DJ's get ready to sample. International..Beat...Dance...New Age...Old Age... .throw the labels away. Listen, move and be.

5-0 out of 5 stars well, i love it
i first heard an afro celt song on the gangs of new york soundtrack. i fell in love with it and decided to buy a cd. i got release and i am so damn glad i did. "even im my dreams" is one of the best songs i've heard in a while. i play it whenever im feeling down or something, or just when i wanna hear something good. anyway, its a great cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good
I love this music and listen to it a lot. It love how it mixes different music styles together. This CD is my favorite of the 3. My skating coach has cut music for a skater off this CD and one of the other volumes. People from my skating and Dance class found it very inspirational as well. The only thing I wish they did differently on the CDs is provide a translation for the non-English parts. I enjoy them singing in the other languages, it is beautiful and it fits the music perfectly but it would be kind of nice to know what they are sing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Give this one a listen.
This album, far from a retread of their previous release, Volume 1: Sound Magic, has a new infusion of pop and techno styles. Release isn't nearly as startling different as its predecessor, but at the same time it has more staying power and should gain the Afro Celt Sound System an even broader audience than it had before. ... Read more

11. The Screen Behind the Mirror
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Asin: B00003XB8K
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 21563
Average Customer Review: 4.16 out of 5 stars
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Michael Cretu, the man behind Enigma, formulates an intriguing symbiosis between New Age musicality, classical and world-music influences, and dance-club rhythms. Gregorian chants, Native American meditations, and the breathy musings of a French chanteuse have been incorporated into legendary dance-floor hits from his previous three albums. The leitmotif of his fourth album, The Screen Behind the Mirror, is the grandly ominous "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. "O Fortuna" opens the set and appears repeatedly throughout the tracks, sometimes lurking in the background, sometimes storming into the forefront. This album marks Enigma's continued foray into the ambient New Age realm, as Cretu's efforts focus more and more on melding compatible styles of world music, while the tracks are mixed into a single continuum. There's a lot to chew on; bits and pieces of church bells, Middle Eastern singing, and native instrumentation from you-name-it fold into each other on a steady current of shuffling hip-hop rhythms and velvety synthesized melodies. Cretu lends vocals to several songs, and his voice stands somewhere between Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins (though it's not as good as either), tending to distract from the album's flow and mood, lending it more of a prog-rock feel at times that he probably intended. Albums like this continue to invoke the same question: Is this a beautiful, transcendent union of artificial and indigenous sounds or is it just a bunch of self-indulgent schlock?It can be answered either way with equal conviction. --Beth Massa ... Read more

Reviews (263)

4-0 out of 5 stars Short, but amazing burst of New Age music.
"Screen Behind the Mirror" is Enigma's fourth wide-release United States album. It follows on the heels of the mega-hit "MCMXC A.D." and more minor hits "Cross of Changes" and "Le roi est mort, Vive le roi!". Enigma's trademark has been combining all forms of non-conventional modern music with ancient and tribal music to create a very eclectic sound that is both uplifting and haunting at once. "MCMXC A.D." was notable for its introduction of Gregorian monk chants into mainstream music on its blockbuster single "Sadeness". "Cross of Changes" continued the trend using the chants while also infusing tribal and Celtic sounds with the music. On "Cross...", the most spectacular of all Enigma songs was produced, "The Return to Innocence". Enigma continued to evolve its musical range on "Le Roi..." by producing an album that has almost a metaphysically spiritual feel to it (please note, I do not have the credentials, nor vocabulary, to properly describe their music in technical terms. So, I describe it as it feels).

"Screen Behind the Mirror" (which only has 4 stars instead of 5 due to its short run time) takes Enigma's musical evolution one step further. It employs the use of an orchestral method known as leit motif, which could best be described as using a particular musical theme to characterize and define a larger work. The most famous use of this technique was used for the musical scores of the "Star Wars" movies where composer John Williams defined different characters by specific musical tones. These tones were present in some for or another in every scene that character appeared in. In this album, Enigma uses composer Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana (O Fortuna)" for its leit motif. Elements of this amazing orchestral piece flow throughout the entire album, from combinations with the actual music on each track to the bridges between songs. "Gravity of Love" and "Modern Crusaders" provide early hints of what is to come with "O Fortuna". The true star of this album begins just prior to track #8 "Endless Quest" when an ominous hint of "O Fortuna" is played just prior to the start of track #8. It then flows into "Endless Quest", which is a slow, deliberate set piece that builds just like the scenes in the movie before its climax. It builds right until a sudden stop and leap into "Camera Obscura", which is a shocking, explosive track of that increases the pulse of the music and the listener and it combines thumping drumbeats with soaring guitars and the rousing finale of "O Fortuna" in such a way that the listener can almost imagine Valkyries descending from the sky. It is truly an amazing musical piece.

5-0 out of 5 stars Enigma Must Be Heard
For me, Enigma's fourth album, "The Screen Behind The Mirror," released at the beginning of 2000, was the first GREAT album released in the New Millenium (okay, so the New Millenium really began in 2001, but why not cheat a little?). Once again, Enigma mastermind Michael Cretu turns in a glorious mix of ambient sounds, world music, opera samples, choir voices, slammin' beats, and keyboard-heavy progressive rock. "The Screen Behind The Mirror" is also a slight improvement over it's predecessor, the laid-back "Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi" (though I like that album just fine). This is a tougher-sounding Enigma, and the tunes definitely contain a lot of punch. Many brilliant tracks on this one, including "Push The Limits," "Gravity Of Love" (featuring a very clever sample of Orff's "Carmina Burana' and sung by Olive's Ruth-Ann), the powerful "Modern Crusaders," the hypnotic title instrumental & "Endless Quest," and the memorable final song "Silence Must Be Heard" (with another great vocal by Ruth-Ann). Fabulous production & sound, terrific instrumental work by Cretu & guitarist Jens Gad, and strong vocals by Ruth-Ann, Andru Donalds and Cretu, and sultry guest vocals by Sandra Cretu and Elisabeth Houghton. Enigma's "The Screen Behind The Mirror" is another sparkling album from this brilliant studio group.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I think this is one of, if not the best, album by Enigma. The songs have such a smooth flow, that if you start with the first you cannot stop until "Silence must be heard" finishes! Good job Michael!

3-0 out of 5 stars Enigma's Bombastic Fourth
Egads...has "O Fortuna" not been sampled enough already? Appears not, as Enigma tosses it in his fourth album to the point of distraction. This is the least ingenuitive of the Enigma albums, and his most obvious. I'll admit, "Push The Limits" and "Modern Crusaders" are the best songs here, but if you have the first three Enigma CD's you have them all.

I have often thought Enigma to be a later day Alan Parsons, trying to make his formula fit certain ideas and themes. And like Parsons, once he got past "Eve," the formula began to wear thin. The same can be said about "The Screen Behind The Mirror." You like the formula. you'll like the album. But to me, it's just Enigma's craftsmanship on display this time. Without heart, craftsmanship is just learning to use the tools, and without any discernable effect.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Heart is the Engine of Enigma..
Being the fourth album from the legendary musical mastermind Michael Cretu, it was also at the time the most different (now his fifth album voyageur stands out as the most individual). I consider this album and Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi to be his (Michael Cretu) best album. The amazon editorial review said it all. Of the two questions posed at the end of her review, i must say that Enigma's music is a beautiful union between artificial and indigenous sound. This album is beautiful. Tracks that stand out the most are "Between Mind and Heart" "Modern Crusaders" "Gravity of Love" and the second track, which i forgot the name of. Buy this album! ... Read more

12. Kinky
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Asin: B00006314Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 38407
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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If Monterrey, Mexico is, indeed, the center of the Latin alternative-music universe, then native sons Kinky are doing a great job of spreading the gospel. The five-piece collective's self-titled debut is an infectious collision of wah-wah guitars, pounding dance beats, and home-cooked rhythm and brass. The band injects just enough authentic tang in its music to raise an eyebrow with the traditionalists, while playing songs demented enough to lure in fans of new-school Mexican electro-pop acts like Plastilina Mosh and Titan. Produced by British tastemaker Chris Allison, whose previous clients include Coldplay and the Beta Band, the album floats on a blissful groove throughout, snaking through styles as diverse as retro shout-along funk ("Mas"), slick, Moby-like trance ("The Great Spot"), and Daft Punk-influenced electro ("Ejercicio #16"), without overpowering Kinky's own emerging identity. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta hear it to believe it.
I was priviledged enough to meet up with the member's of Kinky when the opened up for deSol, another latin band I do promotions for. I was invited to attend the next show in NYC. Let me tell you this, this may be one of the best CD's I now's a fresh, unique..unbelievable style. The CD alone is just incredible..but if you get a chance to see them live..only a funeral should get in the way of your attendance..their grooves are so infectuous, you will undoubtedly be won over after the first 20 minutes alone.

Not to mention the fact that the sincerity, hospitality & humbleness of the Kinky guys makes them that much more of a great band. They showed me and my friend a great advice is to see them now while you can get a ticket..Thanks Kinky..and John Pantle. You're great people!

..See you in Brooklyn in August..Shawn A.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great original
After listening to their disappointing sophomore album, "Atlas", I was compelled to write about how great Kinky's debut effort actually is. This album is all about unabashed creativity, while not trying to target any specific market. The sound is all over the map - you'd like to put it in some neat little category but it won't fit there. It doesn't fit anywhere, and that's what's great about it. Full of energy, with electric guitars, conga drums, electro-beats, the occasional vocoder, goofy Spanish lyrics, it's hard not to get a buzz listening to this CD. Not only do their songs sound like they could be used in commercials, they ARE used in commercials (ie. "Mas" used for the Nissan Altima). I've seen these guys live and they pumped even more energy into their songs than what was on the CD, which is hard to believe, and this made listening to "Atlas" (which I was initially really excited about) all the more disappointing. Regardless, "Kinky" will stay as one my road-trip favorites for a long time to come.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Bumbershoot Endorsement
To reinforce the other Bumbershoot reviews, these guys were a revelation! Inventive, high energy, pure shake-your-booty music, which is why I didn't mind the absence of a strong, lead singer. In fact, for these guys, it is a plus because it doesn't distract from the grooves they are laying down. Yes, the on-site store was SOLD OUT of their CDs the minute the concert was over!! So are others in the area, which helps explain why a bunch of us have stampeded here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kinky rocked big time at Bumbershoot
OK, to be honest -- I haven't heard this CD. So this is a recommendation for the band, not the CD.

I wanted to mention that Kinky really had the crowd rocking at Bumbershoot 2003 in Seattle. REALLY rockin'.

Kinky had the crowd going better than any other I saw -- even some big names. There is a TON of great music at Bumbershoot so it really says something when a crowd reacts to a band so positively.

I'd guess that most people had not heard of Kinky but they instantly liked them. It was one of those great scenes.

The music I heard them play kind of defies category but think techno-dance with a Mexican flavour. If you're tired of the same-old, give Kinky a listen! I'm going to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Energetic, Rhymes, and Fun - Kick it w/ Kinky
Wen't to Bumbershoot weekend of labor day, which is when I saw Kinky. The band a couple of guys going crazy and blasting out tunes that even got the close by b-boys outside the center spin circle stage breakdancing.

The crowd kept growing which truly is a sign of their enigmatic performance. Everyone was dancing and jumping up. Their sound is a medley of all types. I heard some beasty boys, funk, mexican country in it. Mixed up with their instruments it became an electrafying performance. I'll definetely see them again live if they come in town.

The only thing that was a pet peeve of mine is that they had a lot of instrumental songs where I wished they had a lead singer pumping up the crowd a bit more.

Needless to say that by the time I got to the CD purchase area theirs was sold out. ... Read more

13. Philtre
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Asin: B0007D5654
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5242
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Album Description

Over the last two years, multi award-winning Nitin Sawhney has gigged extensively with his live band, DJed for some of the hottest clubnights on the planet, scored numerous films across Europe, Asia, and America, and written/performed for internationally acclaimed orchestras. Ultimately Sawhney comes back to his first love - to present the workings of his deepest thoughts and feelings in the context of his most exciting album to date, Philtre. Philtre is a radical departure and movement on from his previous work. This is a journey that builds in pace and tempo, progressively revealing some of the most awe-inspiring vocal performances and instrumentation imaginable. From the dark, moody, and evocative opening tracks Everything and Spark, through the rich vocal textures of Mausam and Journey, to the rhythmic and emotionally charged sounds of Ojos de Brujo and R&B vocalist Taio, Sawhney expertly navigates the most volatile musical territories to create an unprecedented mixture of sonic brilliance. Inspired by the energy that comes from countless nights of performing in front of vast and varied crowds around the world, Philtre reaches deep into the soul - to challenge, inspire, and provoke. Featured artists include: Reena Bhardwaj, Jacob Golden, Tina Grace, Fink, Sharon Duncan, Saroj Sawhney, Vikter Duplaix, Taio, Ojos de Brujo, and Jayanta Bose.Search and deploy. V2. 2005. ... Read more

14. Planet Drum
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Asin: B0000009O6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8724
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

2-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Boring
This is the first CD of all percussion I have ever bought, and it'll prolly be my last. An album of all percussion is, frankly, pretty boring. Much more interesting to hear percussion-heavy *music* such as, say, Peter Gabriel. "The Hunt" and "The Dancing Sorcerer" are ok, but even at its best, this album is background noise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mickey's Classic!
All I can say is awesome album! Goes well with the previous effort "At The Edge".

Mickey gathers up percussion players from all over the world to create a mass drum/percussive ensemble with pieces that will go to your soul.

Great headphone album. Sit back and let Mickey & Co. take you on a percussive trip around the world.

Planet Drum is the way to go if you're looking for some good Mickey Hart.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some Successful Experiments, But Not a Cohesive Album
In this concept album, Hart brings great drummers from around the world to participate. The result is wholly new works that are without question novel, but this record has not fared well in my collection since I bought it four years ago. I find myself choosing traditional Brazilian or Latin American or Indian or Middle Eastern performances rather than Planet Drum. I would especially warn potential buyers that Planet Drum is not a survey of percussion styles that will help you decide what you do and do not like. It is instead outside all the mainstream styles and I would consider it the kind of album that would augment a percussion collection rather than start one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dreaming in drums
This is Mickey Hart's finest solo effort. Aside from having great percussionary compositions this cd has the best "recording quality". Newer Hart cd's like SUPRALINGUA sound rather dry and artificial and don't have nearly the emotional and trance-like impact that this cd has. The song THE DANCING SORCERER (on this cd) for instance has an ethereal aura around the tones of some of the instruments that add's greatly to the effect of the song. JEWE is played entirely on the human body. Hands and chests and voices are the only instruments and it is a positively thunderous song with great vocals.

If you don't have a fantastic stereo system but you know someone who does, listen to this cd at their house. The song TEMPLE CAVES has a certain thing (I don't want to give it away so I'm not going to say exactly what) that you will not hear on boom-boxes or other "low end" stereo systems. You can hear the song itself on anything, but on really nice stereo systems there is something truly amazing revealed about TEMPLE CAVES. This is music you will feel at the very core of your being.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best percussion CDs ever
I have owned this CD since it first came out and saw Mickey Hart/Planet Drum perform revently here in Seattle. They are amazing and this is probably one of the best percussion jam sessions ever recorded onto CD ... Read more

15. Boheme
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Asin: B000002B49
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11761
Average Customer Review: 4.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancient meets Modern, Deep Forest style!
'Music Detected' was my first CD by Deep Forest and, even though I loved it while most other DF fans were disappointed and some even appalled by their drastic change in sound, after listening to their highly praised 'Boheme' I now have a better understanding of why!
I still love 'Music Detected' and wouldn't dream of changing my rating, but after hearing 'Boheme' it simply blew me away and just might have affected the way I thought about MD if I had purchased this before that...

'Music Detected' has a more eclectic sound than 'Boheme' for (unlike this album) MD mixed an interesting, if not hypnotic fusion of world, rock, dance and soul with most of the songs sung in english, which must have taken a lot of die-hard Deep Forest fans for a loop because their initial style has a more ethnic-world sound with modern beats and ancient pygmy vocals that are rich (and yes, a little strange) but full of life and vigor!

Both are very good but to compare them is somewhat difficult for they're both so very different!

'Music Detected' will never dish up classic DF tracks like "Marta's Song" and "Boheme" but if you have an open-mind than DF fans will hopefully learn to grow with their expanding overflow of experimentations... I for one was completely enthralled with both albums and am deeply looking forward to checking out their other releases, which are probably just as amazing!

Aside from the god-awful "Bulgarian Melody" (which should have never been sung as a ballad), the rest of 'Boheme' is simply mind-boggling and all fans of world music should get themselves a copy...Pronto!

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting Ethereal Voices, Rhythms & Melodies
What a fascinating and spine-tingling interpretation and enhancement of Eastern European music, primarily Hungarian, which is my heritage. Deep Forest manages to make Marta Sebestyen sound even more evocative than she usually sounds ... her voice is soulful, poignant, piercingly tender and sincere. This CD is one nonstop experience of primarily Hungarian/Gypsy and Eastern European culture. It is made more enticing and alluring by the qualities Deep Forest brings forth with their creative imaginations -- they add unique beats and splendid vocalizations. They start with an original piece of music by the original artist, then intepret and expand the sound into haunting and ethereal dimensions. I can not say which is my favorite because the whole CD is one magnificent production of high quality and artistry. The traditional music of this region is combined with modern instruments which only makes the original sound even *more* visceral and earthy ... the root music takes hold of you!!! It does not let go. The unsuspecting listener becomes entranced by a traditionAL sound and an almost dying ancient culture ... fortunately it is being rediscovered and interpreted by musicians such as Deep Forest. I love the cover, the falling orange leaves and the "psi" symbol. The sunlight being filtered through the fog is such an appropriate and absolutely well targeted symbol of the musical contents. Erika Borsos (erikab93)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deep Forest's Magnum Opus! I'm not kidding!
I was absolutely amazed with Deep Forests debut album. It was and still is one of the most groundbreaking world music albums of all time and it's a huge crime that it isn't carried by retailers. It is still an amazing CD to this very day. It blended Pygmy voices with modern dance and the result was a masterpiece. This follow-up to that album entitled "Boheme" raises the bar even higher by having Deep Forest travel from the remoteness of Sub-Saharan Africa, to the forests of Bulgaria and Eastern Europe and the result is beyond what I could give out and "Boheme" is in my opinion, Deep Forest's best album to date although "Music Detected" may offer competition. The album has a much darker and more dramatic undertone than their debut album does but I love it.

"Anasthasia" starts the album on a dark, eerie, and slightly ominous note with a very tribal sound with haunting flutes and a haunting ambience that gives the song a feel of like drifting through the forests of the Alps with nearby storms. Eventually the song gets more and more intense until it suddenly ends at just less than two minutes length. The echoes of "Anashthasia" perfect blend into the drama of my favorite track on this album "Bohemian Ballet". This is one of their best 'studio' album tracks that they've ever created. At first, the clanging dance sound effects would imply a Latin folk track but it becomes a very intense, dramatic, and dark song. Things get even better when it becomes a vibrant and energetic dance song with haunting and bizarrely amplified Eastern European voices backed by the intense melody. This song is my favorite song on this entire album. "Marta's Song" is sheer beauty. After the dramatic darkness of "Bohemian Ballet", we emerge into the sunniness of "Marta's Song" which is another one of the highlights of this album. The song has a really excellent and exotic rhythm and the same is said about the haunting Bulgarian chants as well. Add that to a really warm and energetic melody and you have a really uplifting classic for the coming ages. "Gathering" is a much darker and more ominous track with a very futuristic production yet it also blends in ancient chorus and a really dark but never forboding atmosphere to create another intriguing and amazing classic. "Lament" is a really heartbreaking yet joyous song with a very strange electronic voice effect and bizarrely amplified voice effects. The melody is really awesome as well and the result is another highlight on this album. "Bulgarian Melody" is the strangest track on this CD. Although it starts with a dark and very eerie note and growing more and more dramatic, it calms down and becomes a very odd piano ballad with Bulgarian vocals amidst sweet and beautiful background piano in the background which almost gives the song a slight 1940s tone to it. While I totally disagree with a reviewer saying that this song is god-awful, it does feel sort of out of place against the other songs on this album but nonetheless it is a really great song. As it reverts back to the eerie sound that was present at the beginning, it morphs into a sweeter melody which becomes the track "Deep Folk Song" which is just a one minute interlude track but has a really vibrant French accordion style to it. In a way it's more of like an interlude intro into the vibrant classic "Freedom Cry". This is a really fun and actually a very bright, sunny and really happy song without being cheesy and is actually a very sophisticated song with an edgy and funky beat and a French accordion sound to it that gives the idea of a dance in an open paved plaza in Paris right after a storm moves out. A really amazing song it is. The song gracefully transitions into the next song "Twosome" which is another highlight on this album. This song has a rather slightly ominous melody but also a very joyous and exotic dance club sound. The Eastern Indian chanting gives the song a really colorful sound. It's hard to really explain this track but it's a really awesome song that needs a listen. "Café Europa" is a really strange track with a stormy vibe and Asian exotic instruments. The song becomes a very club-oriented dance song that surely would make for excellent dance club music. While it's a very good song, it doesn't stack up as high as the other songs on this album. Still, it's a great song. The live version is incredible! "Kathrina" is a very spooky track. It begins with a very misty sharp-sounding flute or other wind instrument and becomes a very dark and haunting track with African beats and strange ominous melody. This is the darkest track on this album and it's a good one at that! The album closes with what I can safely say is the best track on this album which is the title track to this CD. While much of the album is dark and somewhat stormy in nature, the closing title track has a very happy and absolutely uplifting vibe and has a funky and exotic rhythm and colorful vocal effects. To me, this is like the sun shining bright after a major storm moving away into the east. This song brings an already phenomenal album to a glorious finish.

Their debut album may have been what brought them into the spotlight but the way I look at it, "Boheme" was where they reached their peak although "Music Detected" may offer competition but these two albums have enormously different styles that it's impossible to compare them but they both showed that Deep Forest were unafraid to go into uncharted territory with their music. "Boheme" to me, built on the greatness of their debut and the result is what I consider to possibly be their best album that they've ever put out to date. I strongly suggest that you get a hold of a copy of this album. I don't know how much I can recommend it but I cannot do this album justice with this review. That's all I can say.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a beautiful CD...
I am a big Deep Forest fan. Of all of their CDs, this and Music Detected are my favorites. Boheme has a gorgeous earthy sound that is equal parts sensual and comforting. This is one of my "Rainy Day" CDs - music to play when it is dark and stormy outside and all you want to do is read a good book and have some great coffee or tea. The individual songs combine to form a rich blend of foreign elements with familiar notes - Eastern European vocals, chants and instruments combined and enhanced with backbeats and synthisized instrumentation.

The sole exception to the calming air of this CD is Cafe Europa, which is a heavier song with a club feel. In classic Deep Forest tradition, this song incorporates chanting with synthesizers and a driving backbeat. The first song, Anasthasia, is deep and rich with industrial elements and an earthy feel of discovery - much like walking through a forest at night to discover a field of wildflowers at sunrise. Also full of of rich emotion and imagery is the three song arc - Bulgarian Melody, Deep Folk Song, and Freedom Cry. Bulgarian Melody starts as a seemingly unfocused piano piece featuring vocals by Marta Sebestyn (also featured on two other tracks on the CD, Marta's Song and Twosome). This builds in intensity and flows into Deep Folk Song, which is a triumphant piece incorporating echoing drums and native cries. This floats directly into Freedom Cry, a passionate, inspirational song which uses native vocals by Hungarian Gypsies. Marta's Song and Twosome are both showcases for Marta Sebestyn's incredible voice. She's like a foreign Karen Carpenter, able to use rich vocals to convey love, loss, regret, hope, and comfort all at once. Gathering and Lament both use synthisizers and native vocals to great effect, Lament as a song rich in loss and regret, Gathering as a song full of warning and portents. Katharina is the most sensual piece on the album, blending synthesized horns and pipes with a slower yet powerful backbeat and soft chanting for a ceremonial feel. Bohemian Ballet is an intense song, with an insistent backbeat, lilting guitars and raw, emotional vocals. The last piece, titled simply Boheme is a pleasant wrap up - you know it's the last piece even if you aren't keeping track. This upbeat song features synthesized horns and hopeful, expectant vocals combined with a backbeat that is not too fast, not too slow - just right.

This is an all-around gorgeous CD for anyone with an interest in atmospheric, global music that you don't get to hear on the radio. Because Deep Forest is so artistic, you may recognize pieces of this CD from fashion shows, commercials, television specials - anywhere but popular mainstream radio. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who likes New Age music with a twist of electronica. You won't regret this CD purchase. =)

5-0 out of 5 stars More than I expected!
I had never even heard of Deep Forest until a woman I know in Kemerovo, Russian told me about them. Now I listen to this disc at least once a day since my purchase. To truely appreciate the genius of this work, turn down the lights and put the head phones on and get lost in a world of musical magic. I have thousands of music selections but it has been a long time since I have been captured by an entire collection of songs on one album. There simply isn't a bad song on the Boheme Disc!! If you don't like this disc you must be tone deaf. :-} ... Read more

16. Sadeness, Pt. 1
list price: $12.99
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B000005JWS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 64638
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

1991 Virgin release featuring four mixes of this top five smash from their double platinum & top 10 debut: Radio Edit,Violent U.S. Remix, Extended Trance Mix & Meditation Mix. Slimline jewel case. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The song that started it all.
I remember hearing this beautiful song at the age of 9(I'm 22 now)and I've been a fan of Enigma ever since.I love the sound of the monks chanting and the tune of the music.Sadsness Part 1 is one of those songs you need to listen to full blast on your stereo system or diskman.Just lay back and enjoy the wonderful songs that Enigma as to offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome music and song!!
I have been looking for this song since I first heard it on KROQ here in Los Angeles County. Loved it when I heard it and now I own all the mixes I know about. This CD is a must have in your collection!!

This is an exceptional example of what a c.d. re-mix maxi-single should be like. It offers four tracks of the same song, each re-mixed differently than the preceeding one. I normally do not collect c.d. singles for the simple fact that I do not want 5-8 different versions of the same song ( what you usually get are real tedious and repetitious versions of the same song with very little or subtle differences). However, with this single of Sadeness Part I, each version is quite different. The two most innovative ones are the Meditation Mix and the Violent U.S. Mix; The first is very entrancing while the second has a lot of OOMPH! to it. For club d.j.s who want to avoid the album altogether, this maxi-single would be worth it and is a great keeper for any club d.j.'s library !

4-0 out of 5 stars No one seems to know Enigma, but they know the music. Why?
Although the "Sadness" is misspelled for the actual "Sadeness Part I" you'll see on the cover when you order it, a rare Imported-from-Japan single does use the "Sadness" spelling (this isn't that rare one). Though three of the four tracks are different enough to be called remixes, two of the tracks are rather tedious and melancholly (#'s 2&4). However, the CD is a must for collectors and for those who like to listen to music not on the original album. The Album edit version is by far the most popular version of the song that swept the world in 1990, though my personal favorite is track #2, the Violent US Remix. If you decide to become an Enigma collector, try hard not to scratch the disc. I did that and had to wait for over a year before I could get a second copy.--MF ... Read more

17. Shaday
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002LG5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12075
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Contemporary 15+ Years Later
This is THE essential introduction to Ofra Haza. 50 Gates Of Wisdom (the album prior to this) was a huge success, but this album cemented Ofra as an international success. Shaday was a mix of rerecorded dance/electro/pop versions of songs from 50 Gates Of Wisdom "Galbi", "Im Nin Alu" as well as rerecorded English versions of a couple of songs from a prior non-English album "My Aching Heart", "Take Me To Paradise". This album still sounds contemporary 15+ years after it's release. This album is worth just the recording of Ofra singing "Love Song" accapella. Ofra's voice is so unique and original and so very amazing! A few of these songs do have a distinctly late 80's vibe (it was the late 80's) but the majority of the album was amazingly ahead of it's time by taking chances on mixing languages and types of music, especially the dance/club vibe mixed with the traditional Middle Eastern music, making a truly "world" music album. For the other absolutely essential album, get Ofra's album Kirya. It is MUCH, MUCH more laid back and not at all similar to this album in style, more slow grooves, a mix of traditional and soul/jazz. Amazing. Ofra died in her 40's in 2001. She was truly an "artist" and pushed the envelope often, but she also never lost the sense of the fun of also recording good pop music. She did both with style and this album is a great testament to that. There will never be another voice like Ofra either. Rest in peace.

4-0 out of 5 stars Magical Music
I originally heard of Ofra Haza by way of Epmd (a rap group) that sampled "Im Nin Alu" in their hit "Paid In Full". It's an awesome sample and really livens up the song. Because of the success of that song, it became a trend in the late eighties to sample Ofra's music to hip hop and techo beats. Her actual album is great as well. I like her more tradtional songs like Im Nin Alu and Love Song. I love the effect of acapella middle eastern music. It is like prayer. Her voice was very haunting and soothing.

What i cannot believe is that Ofra Haza has died of Aids of all things. Very shocking and disturbing. I hear she was only 40. When i listened to Love Song it almost made me cry. At least she left behind some great music. Rest in Peace girl.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite
This CD is worth the cost just to hear the acapella recording of "Love Song." I have "Yemenite Songs" and "Kirya," both excellent CDs, but "Shaday" is easily my favorite. Ofra Haza was ahead of her time and her music is still fabulous almost two decades later.

4-0 out of 5 stars An exciting album that grows on you.
I first heard Ofra Haza's singing on the sound track of "La Reine Margot" and shortly after "The Governess" and I sat up and took notice. I had often heard of her, but prior to Internet shopping, had never been able to find any of her recordings in the local stores (if it ain't honky tonk and bluegrass, to bad!) It is a great pity that she was not better known in the US. At first I was a little put off by the loud rhythmic beat, which sounded to me like someone banging a tin drum, but on the tracks where we can hear the singer above the accompanyment, Ofra Haza is stunning. I would recommend this and other recordings by Ofra Haza to all those who think Charlotte Church can sing.

5-0 out of 5 stars The voice of an angel
The first time I heard Ofra Haza was on MTV, believe it or not. They had a short piece about the release of this album and they played about 20 seconds of a song. That's all I needed to hear. That incredible voice, conjuring images of the desert, really struck me. I immediately went out and bought "Shaday," and have loved it, and the rest of her music, ever since. Her voice was so incredibly beautiful that it could move one to tears. I've never heard a voice so heavenly before, or since. I suspect I never will. Her death was so sad, and not just because it silenced such an incredible talent. The real tragedy lay in that the stigma attached to her illness caused her such fear that she didn't seek treatment until it was too late. If it hadn't been for that, she might still be with us today. Ofra Haza possessed so much natural talent, and had such a beautiful voice, that anyone who likes music will enjoy listening to her, no matter the genre. ... Read more

18. Halim
list price: $15.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00004UAVW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10459
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Exotic
Simply, I would recommend everyone to buy this album. Of course I know that my musical taste isn't identical to everyone else's, but since Natacha Atlas probably is the most addictive music I've ever come across, it is saying a lot as there actually is lots of music out there.

OK, this music sounds quite different at first listen unless you're not already into ethnic music, but don't worry; it is accessible. 'Halim' is a most rare musical masterpiece. The blend is too perfect: Natacha Atlas' voice, so delightful and sexy, and the beautiful Arabic language(yes, it is very beautiful when sung by Natacha Atlas). The exotic rhythms, and sometimes the good techno feel (however this album isn't very technoish). High-class arrangements, without any flaws as far as I can hear.

After having bought 'Diaspora' and 'Gedida' I didn't expect 'Halim' to be as good as my first two superb Atlas purchases, but I was very impressed by how strong and mature the songs on this album are. The opening tune 'Marifnaash' is really full of go and always takes me into ecstasy (like all of the tunes), 'Ya Weledi' and 'Andeel' are other stand-outs. Also, I appreciate very much the tracks on which the melodies get cheesy (for example 'Amulet', 'Moustahil'), because the 'cheese' works excellent with Natachas voice. Each one of the tunes here has its own charm.

'Gedida' is my favourite Natacha Atlas album, but 'Halim' comes very close and belongs to the essential cds of my record collection that I have to listen to once (at least) a day. Buy it.

4-0 out of 5 stars It is Natacha Atlas and she is...
I loved Natacha Atlas from when I heard 'Diaspora' but this record 'Halim' it was it even better you could listen all day without hassle. To listen to the funkadelic musics of 'moustahil' and 'marifnaash' with its riffs and rumbles it would make me happy to hear. 'Ya weledi' to listen all the way is spine tingling and thoughts that never came before. I definetly this album to recommend as anyone would be happy to hear it. However to appreciate most listen to 6 times or sometimes more for some persons.

4-0 out of 5 stars come and see.....
i think this album is really great, but i only gave it four stars because the first few tracks are awsome, easy to dance to and thouroughly enjoyable (read cross-cultural appeal), then most of the rest of the album slows down, and gets a little more "traditional". this in it's self isn't so bad, but many of the tracks are very long (5+ min.), which in turn makes the whole album long, and can leave you feeling a little emotionally spent if you listen to the entire thing from beginning to end.
still, it's worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful.
Just beautiful. If you're on the fence - buy this CD, you won't be sorry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Take me with you
This is a MUST buy if you're an Atlas fan because to me, this album has a totally different feel from her other work like Geddida. This has less of a european production feel to it, more faithful to middle eastern instruments and sounds. If you've not owned an Atlas record and you enjoy most of the Six Degrees stuff, this is for you.. ... Read more

19. Comparsa
list price: $11.98
our price: $11.98
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Asin: B000002C3J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 15277
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Always always improving...
I've been a fan of Deep Forest since their first album, and I was also very impressed with Boheme, their second release. However, over time I found their first album became rather simplistic, and Boheme somewhat uneven. However, COMPARSA, their third album, is without peer.

What is fantastic about this CD is the incredible attention to detail. There are MANY tracks of sound throughout, including dazzling arrays of complimentary keyboard work, deliciously intricate percussion, and expertly weaved vocal lines. The boys have become very adept with their computers, and the samples are spliced with infinite care and virtuosity. Simply marvelous!

5-0 out of 5 stars Uniquely Enjoyable
This CD has a flavor all its own. Deep Forest is one of my favorite groups. They mix obscure ethnic sounds with modern synthesized sounds, beautifully. Comparsa is as good or better than their first album, Deep Forest. It's hard not to think of their first album as their signature album which is why it's less popular since fans have a preconceived notion of their sound. The first album, Deep Forest, had an African/Tribal type ethnic sound, the second Boheme has a sort of Eastern European/Native American type sound, and this one, Comparsa, the third album has a definite south american/aztec sound. All 3 are trademark Deep Forest, a blending of old/forgotten and new/innovative. This is in fact my favorite album of all three. Have an open mind and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars their best, IMHO
I like the first CD, Deep Forest, and I *Really* like this one. It really does justice to the World Music idea by incorporating folk sounds into a very upbeat sound.

What helps is the influence of the folk sounds adds naturally to the dance flavor of the CD, rather than being forced.

This was one of those few CDs that I put on "Repeat All" and listened to non-stop for several days after I got it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique
This album is a very good album. The songs that are in it are different and carry their own styles in music. You might not understand the language but like the music. Its very unique in its own style. Its good to have something that is good and unique. I liked the album alot, also there is for Deep Forest the album "Boheme", which I think is very good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing
if by nothing else than successfully mixing so many genres of music together and making it coherent, if not relevent! all of deep's work are great, alongside their engima cohorts, this group is at the forefront of 'new age' ... Read more

20. Ayeshteni
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000059N0C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22036
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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With her fourth solo recording, Ayeshteni, Egyptiansongstress Natacha Atlas putsher voice dead center, coming on snake-hipped, seductive, andsophisticated with a feral emotional core. Made in Cairo (with someassistance from her TransglobalUnderground mates, whom Atlas has collaborated with since the early'90s), the songs swell shaabi style, incorporating trippy beats,guttural cries, sinuous strings, and a disturbing yet undeniable beautythat brings no one to mind so much as musical kindred spirit Björk.The latter is perhaps most evident on the artist's bewitchingscratch-filled take on Screamin' Jay Hawkins's "I Put a Spell on You" and theJacques Brel classic "Ne Me Quitte Pas," infused here withNorth African-by-21st-century fervor. Elsewhere, Western listeners need notfear the Arabic language; Atlas's focused delivery and challengingarrangements are more than tastefully tuneful, rather they are socompelling as to transcend language and cultural barriers. This ismusic of the cells, the body, and the roaming spirit; yet another wayto free the mind and have the flesh follow. --Paige La Grone ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Voice
Another excellent CD by pop star Natacha Atlas, this one again combines Egyptian pop music with western styles to make something that both westerners and fans of Arabic music can appreciate. This album definately shows some of the influence that the Trans-Global Underground had on Natacha, but it is still uniquely her. Her voice is so seductive and wonderful that nobody could listen to her music and be unmoved. If you like Arabic music (well at least Arabic pop music), then this CD will definately be right up your alley. Perhaps the most interesting thing on here is her cover of "I Put a Spell on You". It was sort of out-of-style for Natacha, but it was still pretty sensual so its definately worth listening to. The vast majority of this CD is in Arabic and French, but you'll still appreciate her singing even if you don't know what shes saying. Its music that works without needing words.

4-0 out of 5 stars Natacha Atlas's 'most Arab' album
I got an advanced copy of this CD last week. Initially, I was disappointed with the general sound, except a few songs, but one week later, I like most of the songs, my favorite songs being Screaming Jay Hawkins cover 'I Put A Spell on You' and 'Soleil D'egypte'.

This album was recorded almost entirely in Cairo, with Egyptian musicians, so it comes as no surprise that it is Natacha's most Arab album. Most of the songs are in the popular Egytpian shaabi style. And in order not to totally alienate the Western audience, who are more 'Diaspora'(her club-friendly debut album) than 'Halim' (her more Middle Eastern sophomore effort), a few world-electronica songs are thrown into the mix. (particularly 'Soleil D'egypte', partly produced by multicultural French band Zebda and has a nice drum'n'bass rhythm and 'Manbai', which is remixed by Nitin Sawhney.) I expected 'Manbai' to be more lounge-y like most of Nitin Sawhney's stuff, but this track uses a standard dance beat, which I found very uninteresting, but the way the Natacha Atlas's voice is brought into the mix makes this song interesting.

Natacha Atlas covers two very well-known songs in this album. Screaming Jay Hawkins's 'I Put A Spell On You' and Jacques Brel's timeless 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' are both given an Egyptian treat. I think 'I Put a Spell On You' works really well, with Arabic instruments, vocals and male choir. 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' is not bad either, but Rai singer Faudel already covered this song with better results, in my opinion. Natacha's version is very similar to Faudel's, and I think Faudel sings this song better.

The rest of the songs are sung in Arabic. Initially, they all sounded very similar to me, but they grew on me later on. Each song has its own interesting moments. 'Shubra' has the great male choir singing, 'Ashwa' is a nice sexy song that has an interesting refrain where I like the way Natacha plays with her voice, 'Ayeshteni' has a nice string section (but that doesn't save the song, this is the most mediocre song here). 'Mish Fadilak' and 'Fakrenha' stand out as the best Arabic songs in the album. 'Mish Fadilak' is an exhilarating song that with a great melody and is the song that is most fun to listen and dance to. 'Fakrenha' is also very good with the great string arrangements.

I would recommend this album if you liked Natacha's Halim or Gedida. If you liked Diaspora but not aforementioned two albums, this is definitely not for you. Fans of Arab singers such as Khaled, Cheb Mami, Fairuz, Amr Diab will also enjoy this album.

In my opinion, this album also indicates that Natacha has come a long way since she sang for Jah Wobble's album. From being a exotic vocalist in ethno-techno circles (I even read recently that in 80's, she was in the goth crowd!) , she paved her way to being a full-fledged Middle-Eastern diva. Once described herself as 'human Gaza strip' with her multicultural (Sephardic Jew- Egyptian-British and what not) background, this album shows that she is Egyptian at heart, no matter what her background is.

4-0 out of 5 stars Got dock a star for Spell
I'd like to weigh in on Natacha Atlas' choice of I Put A Spell on You as a cover. It starts off well, with the scratching and ominous beat. Then, when she sings the first line, her voice sounds a bit on the thin side but I am still OK. Unfortunately, she falls back on "la-la-las" as bridges between the lurics and this comes, off as a crutch, i.e., she does not feel comfortable with the silences so necessary to blues phrasing. If she really felt it was necessary to do THIS song and really had to do the la-la-las, then she should have cut them out during the final mix. I mean, they're recording this in digital, right? So it would not difficult. Cutting out those la-la-las would have left her voice sounding exposed and vulnerable and this song would have worked in an exposed/vulnerable way. As is, it is a bit embarrassing and I will be programming this song out when I listen to the CD. Oh. One last thing: another reviewer was right about the last track "Manbai." It does come off as one of those dance remix bonuses and is out of character with the rest of the songs. I like what Natacha does, so will cut her a bit of slack and only deduct one star, although the two aforementioned tracks are mistakes. Natacha: stick to Arabic (although the French is OK in a kitschy sort of way. It is a beautiful language. You sing it beautifully.

5-0 out of 5 stars great music
this is a great cd of natacha's... [we both have the same name [and spelling] so of course i like her...:)] nevertheless, in this effort, she tries yet new things, and this cd shows change from her previous records... the standout tracks include "shubra", "mish fadilak" and "lelsama"... and of course i cannot fail to pay tribute to our jacques brel, and her remake of his classic "ne me quitte pas"... she adds in her arabic feel to it, for a great final song altogether..... a cd for all natacha atlas fans :)

4-0 out of 5 stars I can't write sanely about this woman
I just can't. I realize that she is a more-than-talented vocalist, and that she effortlessly spans the gap between Arabic pop and world beat. But the sad truth is that when I listen to Natacha Atlas, I am totally lost in the overwhelming sexiness of her voice. It's like cream, it's like butter, it's like honey. It undulates with pure sensuality. I don't listen to Natacha Atlas; I am overcome by her.

It's just not right, I know; I should be commenting on the clever arrangements, on her exotically wrong-but-right take on "I Put A Spell On You," on her gift for drama without bathos, of her wisdom in knowing when to illustrate the songs with vocal filigree and when not to. I should be commenting on all of this. But it's useless; when I listen to her I am transported to some nonexistent fantastic place, a tent in the middle of a desert, the air smoky with incense, someplace lit with fires instead of electricity, someplace with the undercurrent of earth and sky and fire and lust, the heartbeat of lust, desire and heat rising, as the dancers spin and undulate...

you see? I told you. I can't write sanely about this woman. It's impossible; it's hopeless. Just buy the damn CD. ... Read more

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