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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 1099 ratings

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1 stars When a new Yes album comes out, I typically listen to it every day for a year. In the first three years after Mag's release, I've only been able to listen to the whole album in its entirety once.

The problems?

WEAK COMPOSITIONS: There's hardly a melody to be found - singer Jon Anderson saying words while the rest of the band does scales does not make songs.

WEAK LYRICS: gone are Anderson's delightfully mysterious word paintings like "sing bird of prey." These lyrics are painfully straightforward, and sound more like trite everyday conversations. Example: "She got a phone call saying her lover ran away, just another phone call, another bad day." Sad but true, Anderson consented to sing these words.

WHY AN ORCHESTRA?: The only time I like the orchestra on this album is when it's playing without Yes - and vice-versa. Yes has always sounded like an orchestra and thus doesn't need one. The band - especially brilliant guitarist Steve Howe - is often buried in the mix under a lot of people in tuxedos playing expensive instruments. Indeed it was not Yes but rather (management company) Left Bank that came up with the idea that Yes work with an orchestra. As ex-drummer Bill Bruford has often said, Yes has for too long marched to the beat of its management.

YES WITHOUT KEYBOARDS ISN'T YES: Even underrated Yessongs like "Into the Lens," "Going For the One," "Silent Wings of Freedom," and "Brother of Mine" feature brilliant keyboard runs that we now take for granted. With no full-time keyboardist and Howe's guitar subdued, there are no exciting leads or jams to be found at all.

WHY SO SOMBER? As evidenced by its name, Yes is usually a sunny affair, or at least a mix of light and dark. But this album is so locked down in minor key it sounds like the four Yes men are on their death beds and preparing to face eternal oblivion...

| 1/5 |


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