Truth of Touch
2011 / Rocket Science Ventures
Review by Michael Debbage
It has been over 30 years since Yanni’s progressive recording debut Optimystique. Since then Yanni, also known as Apollo, the Greek musical god, has created over ten studio recordings, with four of those albums that would probably hit anyone’s all time favorite list. While the last decade has seen Yanni release respectable material there has been a certain creative edge missing. Truth of Touch changes all that as this is probably one of Yanni’s finest releases in years but enter the listening zone with some latitude in your attitude because this is a much more electronic Yanni that you have heard in a while.
Clocking in at over 62 minutes Truth of Touch includes a total of 15 tracks with 3 vocal performances. Otherwise, the balance of the album is dedicated to new instrumental compositions that for the most part are inspiring and the album begins strong with the gorgeous title track. The melody line will “etch a sketch” into your memory banks only further complimented by the perplexing cross rhythms and pleasing percussion arrangements, a trademark of Yanni’s earlier material. In fact, the first seven tracks are stirring instrumentals that also include the exotic “Voyage” co-composed with Miklos Malek who lends a hand on five of the tracks. Malek also assists on the buoyant and flowing “Flash Of Color” which is in complete contrast to the more aggressive and compelling “Vertigo”. Add the fluid “Long Way Home” and the almost jazz funk of “Yanni & Arturo” featuring Arturo on trumpet and that brings us up to nine very strong instrumentals that would have made it onto any of Yanni’s supreme albums.
While this album comes very close to being one of those mighty fine albums, Truth of Touch only falls microscopically short by not sticking to the principal that less sometimes means more by including 3 pleasant instrumentals and 2 uneventful vocal renditions. However, Leslie Mills, featured on Yanni’s prior release Voices, makes up for the latter with a heart wrenching and vulnerable vocal performance on “Can’t Wait” that she also co-wrote.
Despite the fact that progressive drummer Charlie Adams is missing in action, who was also an integral part of the early Yanni sound, Ric Wake and Yanni make up for this with a very full and detailed production crafting a sound that is new, fresh and invigorating. So much so that Truth of Touch will have you falling in love with the music of Yanni all over again.
May 31, 2011