If I Could Tell You

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Greek composer/musician Yanni has scaled back his grand musical architecture for If I Could Tell You, a sharp contrast to 1997's grandiose Tribute. The synthesized choral works seem almost sparse and frail, and the elements of world music that have been increasingly injected into his previous works are scaled back as well. Still present, however, are the straightforward melodies and overtly romantic themes that Yanni has been known (and in some cases disliked) for, but these too are less classically inspired and almost atmospheric. Unfortunately, this release may not be sweeping enough for those who fell in love with his romance novel soundtracks, and conversely it doesn't get dreamy enough to attract fans of ambient electronic musicians like Vangelis and Brian Eno. While it is somewhat surprising for Yanni to back away from the richly orchestrated works on Tribute and 1993's In My Time, the move shows a real sense of direction and growth that few give him credit for.

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