Michael Levanios

Dancing in the Garden of Light

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At first listen, Dancing in the Garden of Light, the impressionistic debut from Michael Levanios, seems like one of those pretty but non-essential excursions into the well-worn new age pop realm. But what could have easily been just a sweet but generic display of pastoral musical imagery metamorphoses into something much more intriguing thanks to the keyboardist' s inventive production. To complement those lush melodies, he creates wild percussion effects and a healthy palette of synthesized sounds, which include orchesttral touches as well as classical warmth. The final impression is that of a hearty film score from a movie that is part action, part romance, and all emotion. Even if there are draggy moments which water down the flaming inspiration, Levanios, like Steve Haun, has that vibe that touches the spirit as well as the gut. Next time, even more gut would be just the ticket.

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