Review Summary: "The Cross of Changes" is a rich combination of various music genres. A must-listen.1 of 2 thought this review was well written
Enigma is the workings of a mastermind. Little is known about him, other than the fact that he has an abnormally large nose, but he is very well known for his music in which he combines multi-cultural songs and religion-based lyrics. He can, however, produce stunning pieces of music if he put his mind to it. Enter "The Cross of Changes", the second album by Enigma. To round off the simplisity of the album, you should know that it only includes 9 songs, peaking at the 45 minute mark. Despite its short timing, you'll find a lot more than bargained for on first listen.
"The Cross of Changes" is a rich combination of various music genres, mainly in the techno-chant era similiar to Gregorian. Its most notable single, "Return to Innocence", is what makes it such an immense masterpiece. Combining the Native Malaysian-chant with a techno beat is genius. This further tells you that Enigma is full of original ideas and styles. Look more deeper, you'll find "I Love You... I'll Kill You" to be quite the relaxing track. Full of synth effects, tribal drums and female vocals so smooth it sounds like a phone sex snippet.
"The Eyes of Truth" is the highlight of the album. Many know this song from the 1999 Warner Bros. hit movie, The Matrix. What begins with a scary indian flute transforms into another Malaysian female chant. The song's lengthy 7-minute mark eventually breaks up at 4 minutes, and then goes into an orchestra chant most likely heard on movie trailers. Only difference is, this actually feels like a real song. Its a must-listen, I simply cannot stress enough how good "The Eyes of Truth" is.
"Silent Warrior", which by some miracle, features an Elton John-sounding fellow I cannot describe. His lyrics speak about death, love, religion and the coming of God. Also, the chorus is a similiar chant heard in "Return to Innocence". This song is epic in its own way, whether you a fan of World music or not.
The rest of the album flows track after track into a stunning mixture of chant, orchestra, techno and rock. However, not to say the album is perfect. The only thing held back is each songs incredible length, even for an album only 45 minutes. It can be repetitive and outgunned, constantly rolling the same 4-bar beat only to extend the songs limit. This somehow serves as its strong point too, bringing more depth and variation.
"The Cross of Changes" is Enigma's masterpiece. If you were a fan collector of the 90's much more anticipated albums, like The Prodigy's "Fat of the Land", The Chemical Brothers "Dig Your Own Hole" & Moby's "Play", then this is work you should not miss.
The silent man should be heard, but unfortunately TCOC will not appeal to many looking for more techno-big beat. However, if you're willing to try something new and innovative I strongly suggest Enigma.
1. "The Eyes of Truth"
2. "Return to Innocence"
3. "Silent Warrior"
4. "Age of Loneliness"