We all start off as precocious brats, and possibly to some extent internet trolls. Here’s my contribution, written in March 1999, a year or so before the fourth Enigma album would be released.
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 17:41:13 +0000 Subject: Re: What do you think Enigma 4 will cover? There's going to be that woman at the beginning going "Hello, it's me again. I'm trying to build my part up" over that bit he always puts at either end of the album and some of the singles (you know the one, the one which worked at first, but is now becoming rather tiresome). Then there will be a couple of good tracks mixed into a couple of rubbish tracks with Michael going "Raa raa raa, I can't sing" over and over again. Then there will be one really excellent track which everyone remembers. Then Michael will screech for a bit. Then that woman will come back again saying something really deep and meaningful, that annoying bit which he puts at the beginning and end of all the albums will come back again, and the album will end. A few months later a limited edition will be released with some unnecessary remixes on the end and this will p*** off all the faithful fans who bought it the first time round. There will be one hit single and several flops. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, this got a slightly annoyed response, from someone called Great Ruler D.P. He or she was actually very nice about it, and I suspect did realise that my message was intended as a joke, but I’ve edited this down slightly to fit…
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 17:48:19 -0500 (EST) Subject: Re: What do you think Enigma 4 will cover? Do you know a damn thing about introductions and setting moods? Sometimes, an album can make a powerful statement by its beginning and its end. In fact, I happen to like those introductions because it sets the mood and gives some thoughts. It shows that it is not shallow... If you can sing, try it... in the mean time, put up or shut up! [...] Call Cretu and audition... What do you mean unnecessary remixes? I find the remixes interesting because it can transform the music in a different way.
In a way, I stand by what I said – ultimately, having heard The Screen Behind the Mirror, and having seen how it performed in the charts, I think I got everything pretty much right, even down to ATB‘s slightly questionable remake of Push the Limits, but I still shouldn’t have sent such a mean message to the band’s own fan message board. Lesson learnt, and apology made… Mea Culpa.