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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1094 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The difference between Yes and lesser bands is that there is a creative spirit behind the music that makes the musicianship, the lyrics and the performance to combine to generate something that speaks to the soul. That creative spark that seemed to have alluded Yes in the late seventies has returned. Magnification for me is the evidence of the return of the creative spark.

In one dimension, its lyrics, Magnification is superior to albums of the Classic era. While the lyrics are unmistakably Yes, there is a refreshing simplicity and coherence to many of them "If we were flowers we would worship the sun, so why not now?". Is this evidence of a clearer and more mature outlook on life?

Another highlight is Jon Anderson's singing and Chris Squire's vocal arrangement. While some find Jon Anderson too dominating, I think of his voice as another instrument. The harmonies are as strong as ever.

The orchestral arrangements add to the mix. They are never too intrusive. Sometimes they add to the rich aural soundscapes - for example the fat sound of the brass.

As for the songs, "In the Presence of" is magnificent. It combines an instantly catchy melodic theme with more complex passages. It also represents a return to the epic songs of "And you and I" length. The arrangement is at times clear and spacious and at others more symphonic and climactic.

"Soft as a Dove" offer a contrast and is delivered with crisp clarity. For me it is heartwarming to listen to their music as a young person and now to hear them singing of the experiences that I share as a father.

We Agree is another superb composition, again growing from melodic simplicity and clarity to a strong climax. Chris Squire's bass and Steve Howe's guitar compliment each other beautifully through the middle stages of the song. Like many great songs the structural complexity of the song belies the melodic unity. And listen to Steve Howe's majestic solo backed by that fat brass sound!

I have rated this as a 5 because of the phoenix like return of Yes. Magnification builds on the excellent work started in "The Ladder". Songs such as Don't Go don't achieve the same standard as those mentioned above, but overall Magnification is magnificent and destined to become a Yes classic.

kiwi | 5/5 |


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