One of the most interesting facets of Vangelis' music is the way in which it has re-formed and remodeled itself throughout each decade without losing its resilience or overall charm. Whether considering his rudimentary keyboard work from the '70s, his numerous motion picture scores of the '80s, or his stylish theme-based material of the '90s, Vangelis managed to keep his atmospheric pastiches from sounding redundant by giving each of his albums a unique persona that never imitated or borrowed from other pieces. Best Of covers some of his most appealing work from the years 1990 to 1999, making for one of the most accommodating routes in which to explore this era of his music. For the most part, Vangelis focused closely on classically oriented textures and softer, gentler keyboard applications in this period, but his skills at creating accurate moods and imagery to accompany the albums' concepts were still as faultless as ever. Some of the most moving tracks stem from 1990's The City, 1992's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and 1996's Oceanic albums. Although these tracks are removed from their conceptual domain, the beauty and climate of their themes can still be appreciated. Songs like "Bon Voyage," "Dreams of Surf," and "Fields of Coral" from Oceanic paint a vivid picture of the water through some light but rather telling keyboard extensions, while the material from 1492 is a little more stirring and dynamic since it represents the spirit and perseverance of the newcomers setting sail across the sea. The albums themselves should be heard in their entirety in order to fully grasp the effectiveness of Vangelis' musical intentions, but the tracks on Best Of are still worth owning, especially for those who want to start off with just a taste of his '90s material.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne