Enigma The Screen Behind The Mirror

Enigma’s Michael Cretu, to his credit, has presented a consistent musical approach from opus to opus. However, that musical approach is the most deadly form of pop music — “classy” pop music, the soundtrack to fashion runways and Leonardo DiCaprio movies. Pretentious doesn’t even begin to describe the banality of these strung-together lyrical and musical clichés. Despite many evocations of all things worldly and mysterious, there are fewer pilfered world music sources than other Enigma albums. Rather, a central theme is Orff’s tired old “O Fortuna.” Hasn’t ten years of action film pyrotechnics leeched all the drama out of that particular piece of music? As well, I’m sure John Bonham’s Levee break has popped up at least once on each Enigma album. There are no concessions to techno or drum & bass rhythms, there is nary an exciting rhythm to be found, only loping soft porn muzak made by expensive sounding synths. Enigma will probably sell a jillion copies of this record because it is immediately as familiar as the other albums, but brand new — the ultimate pop principle. The Screen Behind the Mirror is as unexotic as a General Foods International Coffee, and every bit as corporate. (Virgin)