It’s an album that divides opinion. There are some that claim that The Screen Behind The Mirror is Michael Cretu’s most sophisticated album, while those that disagree claim that the extensive samples from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana overshadows the work.
Let’s examine the evidence. Released on 14 January 2000, Enigma’s, The Screen Behind The Mirror sets out its stall from the opening bars of The Gate, and it features a sample from Carmina Burana – but it is an extremely evocative track that leads into ‘Push The Limits’ which became the second single to be taken from the album.
Listen to The Screen Behind The Mirror right now.
The first single was ‘Gravity of Love’ which also has snippets of Mr Orff, and to be fair is the song that relies on samples more than any other. While neither track became hits outside of Germany they both helped propel the album into the UK Top 10, Enigma’s third in the ten years since MCMXC a.D. It’s British singer, Ruth-Ann Boyle who had been in the band Olive who had a minor hit in 1997 with, ‘You’re not Alone’.
‘Smell of Desire’ reprises the shakuhachi flute from the MCMXC a.D, and it’s a very evocative track. ‘Modern Crusaders’, samples “O Fortuna” but ends with sample from Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D Minor’. In ‘Traces (Light and Weight)’, is text book Enigama, and hypnotic as well. For the album’s title track it’s the rhythm that was central to the success of ‘Sadeness (Part I)’ and along with Boyle on vocals is Andru Donalds. It’s one of the albums highpoints.
The ‘Endless Quest’, is arguably the least successful individual track on the album, but fits well in the, “sum of the parts” approach of Cretu. ‘Camera Obscura’, is short, though not necessarily sweet. ‘Between Mind and Heart’ features Michael Cretu on this track and it too is another of the album’s high point It’s Ruth-Anne Boyle singing on ‘Silence Must Be Heard’ and it is a very effective closing track as it closes with the signature Enigma horn.
The inclusion of the samples from Carmina Burana are what helps give this album a sense of cohesion and it works really well, so we very much fall into the supporters of The Screen Behind The Mirror.
The Screen Behind The Mirror can be bought here.