With more than 70 million records sold worldwide over almost 30 years, it’s no wonder that Enigma creator and driving force Michael Cretu describes the group as a “self-inventing continuity.” In a catalogue that now extends to eight studio albums, we’re looking back at the fifth entry in this epic series, Voyageur, which made its UK chart debut on 20 September 2003.
The record was the sequel to 2000’s The Screen Behind The Mirror and arrived ahead of the following year’s hits compilation Love Sensuality Devotion. The new set surprised some listeners by being Enigma’s most overtly pop-oriented project to date. Cretu was the sole composer of all but three of its tracks, on which his collaborator was German writer-producer-guitarist Jens Gad.
Cretu’s then-wife Sandra again featured on some vocals, as did Ruth-Ann Boyle and Michael himself. There were also lead vocals on two tracks by Andru Donalds, the Jamaican singer who had a top 40 solo pop hit in the US in 1995 with ‘Mishale,’ and had also appeared on ‘The Screen Behind The Mirror.’
The album was another top ten entry for Enigma in Germany, peaking at No. 6, and became a top 20 success in other countries including Austria and Holland. Its beat-driven title track was a major hit in some European countries, notably in Greece, and prompted a second single, ‘Following The Sun.’
Cretu acknowledged that, overall, the album did not reach the commercial heights of its predecessors in a 2008 interview, in which he maintained that it was an important connection between his past and future music. “I wanted to make sophisticated pop-music in the spirit of Enigma,” he said.
“That fans didn’t understand or like this idea is alright with me. I can say, it was important for myself in that moment of my life. It was necessary for the becoming of Enigma 6 and also 7.”
Voyageur can be bought here.
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