Various Artists

Elevator Music [Direct Source]

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Looks like the folks at Direct Source are looking to turn a quick buck with this collection of soft rock instrumentals, appropriately titled Elevator Music. Their house band, known as the Top Floor, alternately attempt to channel Kenny G., Zamfir, and Al DiMeola on this two-disc set that drips with saccharine soprano sax, ham-fisted pan flute, and antiseptically clean guitar. Some of the songs lend themselves to this treatment quite naturally (probably to the surprise and horror of the original artists). The pan flute version of the Bee Gees ballad "How Deep Is Your Love" is almost sublime, and Sade's "Smooth Operator" seems built for the smarmy soprano sax oiling it receives here. The acoustic guitar version of Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" would actually be rather good if not for the canned MIDI-file backing, but that is precisely what makes it so evocative of elevators and supermarket aisles in the first place.

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