Moon, Light, and Flowers
Hogne Boe Petterson
Note: This review only mentions some of the tracks on the album.
'57 (The Year I Was Born)
The track starts with a real cool sounding synth sound which builds up a rhythm. Then a very Kitaro-like synth sound fills the right speaker and a bass rythm and drums come in. (The bass and drums are not synth.) A typical 70-sounding synth starts playing the theme of the chorus, and then Cretu starts singing. At first I didn't think it was him, because his voice is very high-pitched (like Thiers) and his English accent is outrageous. The chorus in the song is very catchy and you will be humming the song long after the album is finished. Here and there Cretu throws in sound effects, but they sound more like the ones Kitaro used in the 80's than the ones he uses in Enigma. In the second verse a synth piano also is added to the song. In the chorus you can hear a back up voice singing "lalala" and almost sounding like a saxophone. After the second chorus a drum break comes in and "disco sound effects" are in the background. Tabla drums are added and then a synth solo sounding very much like Jon & Vangelis comes in. The chorus then starts again, and the song fades. It is a very cathcy pop tune, and held good promises for the years to come from the then 22 year old Cretu.
Fire And Rain
This song starts with a beautiful synth sound and once again it sounds like the beginning of a Jon & Vangelis song. Cretu then starts singing backed up with warm synth sounds. Drums are added with more synths and the song is now starting to sound like a cheap dance band tune. The chorus saves the song, and if some electric guitars had been added here it could have been the chorus of a hard rock ballad. A new verse and then the chorus is repeated. Then the intro is repeated, but this time with drums and bass in the back ground. A bridge is added to the song and more sound effects comes in the back ground. A bit of a pompous intro for the chorus comes in and it's repeated until the song fades.
The sound of a birds and waves introduces this song together with a piano. Cretu starts to sing upon top of this. Then drums come in and he starts to sing the chorus. A classical guitar is added together with a female chorus on the second verse. After the second chorus the drums are removed and the song slows down a bit. You can only hear the piano on top of the waves and birds, and a flute sounding synth solo comes in. Then the chorus comes back, but this time with a trumpet fanfare in the left speaker. The song ends a bit dramatically, almost like a symphony orchestra finishing a performance. A very good song and it features emotional elements that Cretu would resurface on tracks like Invisible Man and Waterfall.
Shadows Over My Head
Thu starts singing. More synths are heard and when the chorus comes in, strings are added. Halfway in to the second verse, drums are added and an Abba like piano can be heard. After the second chorus, the drums fade and the synth loop comes back. Vocals singing "aaahhhh hahahaaaahhhh" is heard. The bell strikes and drums and piano comes in. This goes on for a while and then a hard rock guitar is added with drums and strings. The trumpet synth is also heard and then the chorus comes back. More and more instruments are added and it alls ends in an orchestral finale. The rain and the bell ends the song. A really beautiful piece which really shows the Cretu that was to come.
This song is pure crap. It has synth sounds in it that makes it sound like a cheap dance band tune. And the lyrics are incredibly bad. They almost make you puke. The drums and synths could have been programmed with two synths, and a 12 year old love sick girl could have written the lyrics. If this song had been performed by Julio Iglesias I wouldn't have excpected better but with Cretu I do. It wouldn't even have won the Eurovision Song Contest.
The song is introduced with a flute sounding synth which goes in a loop. Warm synths are added in the background and then a mellotrone comes on top of this. All sounds are removed and replaced with a piano. Then Cretu starts singing. The piano is played in a very classical way. A bass comes in and when the chorus comes in a harpsichord is added. In the second verse very gentle drums builds up a rhythm together with the bass. After the second chorus the intro of the song comes in and the chorus returns after that. The piano and harpsichord finishes the song. The whole track has a folk music feel to it and it sends chills down my spine.
Sparks of Imagnination
The track starts wind wind and the flute sounding synth comes back in a another loop form together with other sound effects. A Wakeman-like synth starts the song together with drums and bass. All instruments are then removed except for a synth which is played under Cretu's singing. A guitar comes in with a bass also and then
strings are added. The chorus sounds a bit like Wild River, and it is sung with drums and bass. A synth interlude comes in and then the second verse is sung, but this time with drums and bass. The chorus is repeated until the song fades. This song shows that Cretu must have been very heavily inspired by typical European ballads which there were too many of during the 70's. At times the song once again brings back thoughts of Julio Iglesias, but it is much better than Love Me.
Streets of Time
This song is very ABBA like. The song is introduced very orchestral like with drums, synths and sound effects. The slow beat rhythm under the singing makes it clear that with female vocals this could have been an ABBA song. In the background of the rhythm a cello like synth is played, and it adds a harder groove over the song. When the chorus is introduced, the rhythm speeds up and a trumpet sounding synth is added. The intro of the song is repeated, and then the second verse comes in. After the second chorus the intro of the song is repeated before the chorus comes back. The song is OK, but a bit obvious. The intro of the song ends it and a synth sound that jumps from the left to the right speaker while fading. The sound of rain and thunder is heard and we are in the next track.
Song for Unknown Heroes
A warm synth sound is slowly rising. A bell is heard and then a synth-loop comes in. A Vangelis-sounding synth is played and then drums end the intro. Only a piano is left and Cretu starts singing. More synths are heard and when the chorus comes in strings are added. Halfway in to the second verse, drums are added and an ABBA like piano can be heard. After the second chorus, the drums fade and the synth loop comes back. Vocals singing "aaahhhh hahahaaaahhhh" is heard. The bell strikes and drums and piano comes in. This goes on for a while and then a hard rock guitar is added with drums and strings. The trumpet synth is also heard and then the chorus comes back. More and more instruments are added and it alls ends in an orchestral finale. The rain and the bell ends the song. A really beautiful piece which really shows the Cretu that was to come.
All in all this is an OK album. Considering the fact that Cretu was 22 years old when these songs were written, it makes you realise that some of these songs are quite an achievement. One of the things I find a bit charming with this album is the sound of the old analogue synths from the seventies. Cretu is a very good keyboard player and he is true to the musicians he takes inspiration from. All songs except Shadows Over My Head are co-written by a guy called D.Cross. The album is produced by Michael T. Omilian and Cretu, and all arrangements are by Cretu.
Rating: 4 out of 6.