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Devotion - The Best of Yanni

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Album Review

For a time in the mid-'90s, Private Music was issuing Yanni samplers on a regular basis, prompting the casual fan to wonder if the love-him-or-hate-him new age phenomenon had ever indeed released a real studio album before. This collection is pretty much the definitive one with 15 tracks, including his most recognizable hits: the lush, percussive "Once Upon a Time," the sweeping, global-minded "Song for Antartica," the exotic, chant-enhanced "Aria," and the impossibly melodic "A Love for Life." Most of the tunes follow a similar pattern of pretty melody over just slightly bombastic electronic percussion and orchestra, but others, like "Reflections of Passion," have a softer classical mood focused more on the acoustic piano. "The End of August" from Live at the Acropolis adds to that flavor a beautiful violin line, to which Yanni's piano serves as a harmonic accompaniment. "Marching Season" from that same release displays an aggressive musicianship that Yanni's other material rarely approaches. A lot of the anti-Yanni sentiment comes not from people who've heard the bulk of his material, but those who simply reject the idea of simply stated, pretty, top-down music as bad for some reason. It never gets too deep, but the same could be said of a lot of pop music. For those new to the Yanni experience, this disc is a good place to start.


Born: 14 November 1954 in Kalamata, Greece

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Of the artists who rose to popularity as part of the new age music boom of the 1980s and '90s, few (if any) enjoyed greater or more lasting success than Yanni. Composing and performing instrumental music with a pronounced sense of drama, dynamics, and romanticism, Yanni broke through to a significantly larger audience than his peers, thanks to adult alternative radio airplay and a commanding performance style that attracted fans through frequent appearances on public television as well as world-wide...
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Devotion - The Best of Yanni, Yanni
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