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Anderson / Stolt - Invention of Knowledge CD (album) cover


Anderson / Stolt


Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 223 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Better than most Jon Anderson solo albums.

Many reviewers have suggested this album comes across as a parts Olias of Sunhillow and Tales from Topographic Oceans, and I would not, on the whole, disagree. However, it is missing key elements of both albums that pushed them into 'excellent' territory. On the positive side, all the music on this album is highly listenable all the way through, which can't be said for most Jon Anderson solo albums (which often have duds that must be skipped over, except Olias of course), and all of the pieces here are solid even if not highly memorable. Jon Anderson's lyrics here are also pretty good - better than a lot of his more cheesy lyrics on some of his solo albums, and his voice has kept well - he sounds pretty darn good for a 70-year old! So, good on these scores, and worth picking up for these reasons. On the negative side, the vocals are too constant, with insufficient instrumental breaks. While I generally love Jon Anderson's vocals, too much of a good thing can be a bit tiring to listen to - there is not sufficient time to wander off into the music before perking up one's ears again for the lyrics. Related to this, while the music behind the lyrics is excellent, it is not sufficiently the focus of the album. Often the excellent playing is too low in the mix (leaving the vocals always up front and centre), and the musical interludes are too short. Among the great thing about Yes (and the Flower Kings and Roine Stolt's solo work) was/is the high degree of musicality in their instrumental sections, and you can hear right away the potential for this in this album too, but alas there are no extended instrumental pieces (not even extended new-age-y ethereal tails like on Olias) - AND there are not enough guitar solos! Roine Stolt is a fantastic player and on a duet album one would like to hear him play the guitar some more (there are a number of short solos, but most are more like bridges or transitions than real solos). Saying all this, I don't want to give a bad impression of this album - it is actually very good for what it is and worth hearing. I have listened to this about 10 times now, and I find a number of sections quite musical, and nothing is off-putting. But it is not quite 4-star material. I give this album 7.7 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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