A Posteriori

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In Italian, A Posteriori means anything from "what comes after" to "behind." Dedicated to "all visionaries of human race" (sic), The album, like previous Enigma albums, is beautiful in its sonics, textures, and grooves. Michael Crétu does almost everything here save for a couple of recitations. Once more, the songs of Enlightenment composers such as Gesualdo and Monteverdi are sampled in the tranced-out mix. Are they prayers? Are they amorous songs? Unless you can understand Latin or Italian, there's no way of knowing. But Crétu has always been able to weave together the spiritual and the carnal, and it's his trademark. The more obvious trance and house beats are a near constant. One has to believe that if the folks in Tangerine Dream would have started in the 1990s instead of the 1960s, they'd sound something like this, as many of Crétu's pulsing textures are reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's Stratosfear and Tangram years. While the sound Crétu employs is now familiar, perhaps listeners should be thankful for it. He's managed to find something that works, and goes for it with gusto. Perhaps nothing on this set is as striking as "Remembrance," but then who would ever want to hear that cut again? "Feel Me Heaven" is a wild, pulsing, throbbing trance cut that blends everything listeners know of Crétu's previous music into a lovely whole. It is followed by "Dreaming of Andromeda," a slower though no less hypnotic slice of chilled house. Some things here seem just plain dumb -- "Dancing with Mephisto" and "Sitting on the Moon" feel more like new age cuts than anything else. Crétu's vocal on the latter sounds like Robbie Robertson's from his solo albums. The glissando guitar that opens the completely dancefloor-driven "Invisible Love" works well, but Crétu's vocals are irritating. The shifting dynamics in "The Alchemist" make it one of the most compelling cuts on the disc, and it is a perfect candidate for an extended remix by some wise and imaginative soul. The bottom line: if you like the Enigma sound, this will be up your alley, full of the things you may seek out in a recording, but there is little new here.

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