You all thought I was kidding when I told you I have a wide range of musical taste. Admit it. You thought I was just kidding.
And I’m more than qualified to write this review as more than just someone listening to his music for the first time cuz I own almost everything he’s ever made. Well, studio recordings, anyway. Not all the compilation discs, because what’s the point? I’m talking Niki Nana, Chameleon Days, Keys to Imagination … old-school Yanni.
It all started when I was living in Virginia Beach back in 1992. I had some pretty stringent rules that I was living by. One of which was that I could only listen to instrumental music. The guy I was living with had some interesting stuff: Tangerine Dream, Lanz and Spears, solo David Lanz stuff … and this guy named Yanni. My buddy recorded Yanni’s Reflections of Passion on one side of a 45 minute tape. Of course, I lost the last couple tracks and a portion of the last song on the recorded tape, but at least I had them.
Anyway, as I got more into CD collecting and music in general, I decided that his music is collection-worthy. By that, I don’t mean that his music is worthy to be in my collection … I mean that his music is worth collecting. I’m not that arrogant. 😉 So I picked up Dare To Dream, which had jus barely been released.
And that was that. Yah, I like Tool, and I really get into Metallica’s old stuff … I also have times where I like to chill. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more chill music than Yanni’s.
So how does the new CD rate?
After 2 tracks in, I knew he had another winner on his hands. The sounds are lush, full, and the music is as entrancing as it has always been. If there is one thing that can be said of Yanni, it is that he has the uncanny ability to convey the feeling of the song through the music. Almost every other artist requires lyrics to convey their meaning. Yanni’s music is the lyrics. You know exactly what he is trying to bring across. This has always been, and it always will be.
The CD starts off with the title track – “Truth of Touch.” Just from the key the music is written in, to the chosen melody, the accompanying bass line, the background strings … you can feel the truth of … of ….. well, everything. I know that sounds cheesy. Really … I do. But it’s the truth! No pun intended. This song is full of happiness and peaceful warm fuzzies … like you’ve just come out of the surf from swimming with turtles and clown fish, and you’re ready to sit in and dry yourself with warmth and sunshine.
“Echo of a Dream,” the second track on the CD, will very much make you question your own state of being. “Am I awake? Did I drift off ? How did I end up in this ethereal state …?” A lot of the sounds on this track seem to have an almost binaural effect … setting your mind to relaxation mode as you ride those alpha waves to a state of relaxation and tranquility. Put this on repeat, and you’ll probably be out within two or three rounds.
Conversely, “Vertigo” slams into the song with a force akin to free-falling from a rooftop and landing on your back on the cement below. Again, the chords, the instrumentation, the beat … you get the feeling like you’re lost in space and tumbling endlessly through a void, yet you have that nagigng feeling like you’re going to hit a wall at some point … you just don’t know when.
As the CD progresses, some of the later tracks have a kind of Hooverphonic, Enigma sound to them. It’s different from anything I’ve ever heard him do. You could almost dance to some of this stuff.
There are some suprises on this CD, but I’m going to let you discover those on your own. Who am I to spoil anything?