Seven Lives Many Faces


(LP - UMC / Virgin #3576477)

Review by James Christopher Monger

Enigma mastermind Michael Crétu took a self-described "omnicultural" approach to his seventh release under the moniker, and while that progressive, pioneering notion looks good on paper, any sharp stylistic changes to the project's signature sound on Seven Lives Many Faces are subtle, to say the least. Once again, Crétu seamlessly blends ethnic fusion, new age, and neo-classical electronica into the perfect background music for a European tourism campaign commercial, peppering each track with his seemingly endless arsenal of samples, both new and old. When Enigma strikes a balance between the two worlds, as is the case on the elegant (and surprisingly muscular) first single "Seven Lives" and its spiritual and melodic counterpart "La Puerta del Cielo" (the latter most resembles the band's most notable hit, "Sadeness, Pt. 1") the results are quietly stunning, but in more cases than not, the new age, fortune-cookie derived lyrics (especially when sung in English) mirror the unimaginative, two-chord melodies that carry them along.