October 2010

Enigma, "MCMXC a.D"

No one knew what to make of MCMXC a.D., the 1990 debut album from the German musical project known as Enigma. Never before had anyone thought - or even dreamed - of combining traditional Gregorian chants with a drum loop and breathy, sensual French lyrics, but that’s precisely what Michael Cretu did. The result was a genre-bending, pioneering album that brought world music out of the bargain bin and gave New Age music its identity. MCMXC a.D. has spawned a legion of imitation musical acts and styles, and has proved challenging - impossible - for Engima itself to top. Twenty years after it hit shelves and gave parents a whole new scare to write angry letters about, how does it hold?