Various Artists

iRelax: Leaving the Workday Behind

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A nice compilation of songs from some of the best new age instrumentalists out there, iRelax: Leaving the Workday Behind takes 12 tracks from 11 different artists (which is actually a pretty good ratio: many collections like this have a much higher song-to-performer percentage). Back to Earth is the sole repeater here, having both the opener, "Dreamland Crescendo," and the poignant, melancholic "African Princess," complete with an aching acoustic guitar and bird noises. Austrian musician Gandalf adds the very pretty "Blossoms Falling Like Snow," while Peter Sterling provides the mystical "Eldorado." And though the king of new age himself, Yanni, is not featured on the album, a song of his, "Whispers in the Dark," covered by Danny Wright, is in fact included. But individual tracks are not especially important: the focus is more on the overall effect and the ambience created, and in terms of those results, IRelax: Leaving the Workday Behind is pretty successful.

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