A New Age favorite since its CD debut in 1990, Enigma's MCMXC a.D. just gets better on DVD. While the mellow techno chill-out suites of Romanian-born Michael Cretu are not likely to attract any new converts (i.e., those with a low tolerance for "aural wallpaper" consisting primarily of noodling synths with a slow-grind pulse rate), devoted fans are sure to appreciate the visual component added here. Featuring gorgeous models and brief peek-a-boo nudity to accompany Enigma's once-controversial combination of sacred music and sexual imagery, these dreamy videos would feel right at home on the Playboy Channel, but they're clean enough (really, they are!) for all-ages viewing. Unfortunately, the ensuing years have seen Enigma's musical stylings copied and co-opted by the upscale porn industry, so all of this comes off as rather tacky and dated, despite the purity and sincerity of Cretu's musical philosophy (which he partially defines in an interesting bonus interview). Still, there's some hypnotic energy here that's undeniable, and "Sadeness," "Principles of Lust," and "The Rivers of Belief" still stand out as rich, multilayered masterworks, and the imagery follows a sensual theme just vague enough to allow the liberty of personal interpretation. If you're seeking stress-relief by immersing yourself a soothing envelope of audiovisual comfort, this DVD's got just what the doctor ordered. --Jeff Shannon
Longform Film: The Voice of Enigma, Principles of Lust/Sadeness/Find Love/Sadeness, Callas Went Away, Mea Culpa, The Voice & The Snake, Knocking on forbidden Doors, Back To The Rivers of Belief/Way To Eternity/Hallelujah/The River of Belief + Full-Length Videos: Sadeness, Mea Culpa, Principles of Lust, The River of Belief, EPK: Enigma II, Enigma 96/97
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