Review Summary: Timbaland, eat your heart out...
Back before there was fame, success and rappers, there was music. Music, in some senses, could be appreciated as a form of art, expressing emotions, certain styles and unending imagination. This was respectively divided into many genres. One of those was New Age, which in modern talk equals monks, MC boards and synthetic guitars. Amongst the laughable concept, one act presented it as a serious form of art. That was Michael Cretu, a composer who knew his genre and stuck to it... often. While he spawned on of the greatest New Age albums in history, his work went on as experimental electronica, to world and a variety of genres. Cretu has created pop, ambient, rock, techno, chant and many other standing genres. Now, its hip-hop's turn. Seven Lives, Many Faces
is a mix of stylish hip-hop beats over haunting violin pieces. The combination seems awkward, but it doesn't fail to impress. M.C. has taken word from the mainstream to create much more diverse production work, including attempting to rival Timbaland's drum rhythm technique. All of it seems far-fetched, but still manages to keep its professionalism.
Seven Lives, Many Faces
is a huge step away from Cretu's faithful techno-chant music. Like I said before, the hip-hop beats play a key element to the album's formula. Seven Lives
is the album song, an impressive combination of click-beatboxing over epic violin work. Andru Donalds has stuck around again, and frankly his vocals are now as annoying as ever. But he is surprisingly blended into the song, creating an "epic apocalyptic" feel instead of stuffing it up like he always does. Touchness
features world-renowned violinist Hilary Hahn, with an intro so perfect it could've been used in a Godfather movie. The beat falls short of the mark, but is very deep and relaxing. Deja Vu
is a completely sample-driven track, with ambient pieces taken from Enigma's third album. The structure is basic at heart, and like Enigma's past work, focused on meditation. The album runs well until now, but not to say its perfect...
Apart from the stunning production, Seven Lives, Many Faces
falls victim to repetition. A lot of the music sounds exactly the same as the past songs, only with a booming new beat. Call it a remix, if you wish, rather than a seventh studio album. Cretu's lovely wife presents the orgasmic vocals, like always. Except this time, she's much older and sounds held back.
And then there's Andru Donalds.
His voice is ultimately boring, repetitive and irritating. Distorted Love
is a terrible example of it. The beat is flat-lined to one tone, and the lyrics are god-awful. Any song with the line "touch me, I'll be your daddy" is, put in modern terms, utterly repulsive. Now we know why everyone hates rap music so much. Luckily, Andru doesn't play a very big part in the album and we can all recall the originality again.
I cannot say Enigma has matured, rather longed for childhood memories. Also, this leaves room for much debate as Cretu's past work has been serious on subject. Seven Lives, Many Faces
is playful at heart, and not enough to stun first-listeners. I was surprised by the change in direction, and was pleased, but just killed the authenticity in the entire purpose of Enigma. I would recommend this to only the fans. Newcomers might feel disgusted, as it lacks some form of entertainment. Nonetheless, Seven Lives, Many Faces
is a good album.